Fairgoers revel in McHenry County Fair's rides, entertainment
WOODSTOCK – Families, friends and fair enthusiasts flooded the gates of Woodstock's fairgrounds Saturday to take part in one of summer's greatest pleasures – the McHenry County Fair.
By noon Ryan and Jamie Buck of Crystal Lake, along with their two daughters, Addison, 4, and Quinnlyn, 2, had cuddled with some bunnies, accessorized the girls' hair with feathers, got finger-printed at the Sheriff’s booth, had a temporary tattoo applied without shedding a tear and stopped for a refreshing ice cream snack.
“It’s our first time here at the fair,” Jamie said. “Everyone has been really nice, and the girls are going crazy over all of the animals. We’ll definitely be coming back next year.”
Jamie and Ryan seemed a bit tired, but it was clear their daughters hadn’t had enough of the fair's offerings as Addison tugged on her father’s hand.
“Come on Daddy let’s go. I want to go on the roller coaster.” Addison said as Quinnlyn squealed "roller coaster" in agreement.
Roller coasters and other rides are fair necessities, but no county fair would be complete without a few animals.
Dairy farmers Tyson and Karen Pace have been showing at the fair for more than 10 years and are excited for their son, Shawn Jones, to take his turn in the ring.
"The fair is really fun time for our family,” Karen said. “It’s a great way for us to show other farms here what we have to offer as well as getting to show off our animals to the fairgoers.”
Tyson and Karen were in constant motion tending to their cows, keeping their pens clean and visiting with fairgoers, all the while with a big smile on their faces.
“We definitely look forward to it. It’s nice to see your friends and fellow farmers that you only see once a year,” Tyson said.
The Pace’s said they were looking forward to seeing the Memorial Swine Barn., which was renovated in remembrance of three former 4-H members who died in the past four years.
Jennifer Kearns, Kevin Ziller and Grant Fruin were regulars at the annual McHenry County Fair. Kearns was killed in a car accident in February at age 19, Ziller, 21, died in a car accident in 2010, and Fruin, the youngest of the three, was 15 when he committed suicide in 2009.
Karen said she hadn’t been able to leave their pen area since they arrived Tuesday evening but hoped to get out and take a walk through the carnival and indulge in some tasty fare.
Out of the warm conditions of the beef, dairy and swine barns one could take refuge in the cool 4-H building, where the accomplishments of its members in areas such as cake decorating, aerospace model building and scrapbooking were on display.
Later in the evening fairgoers let loose to the musical styling of Hans & The Hormones and the Trash Martinis.
The fair continues through this evening, culminating with a demolition derby and the Jenae Cherry Band.
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