Contests galore are planned at the Osage County Fair, as competitions ranging from a Power Wheels mud run to a homemade wine contest are scheduled among the hot food and live music during the three-day event scheduled Thursday through Saturday.
Starting when the food stand opens at 4 p.m. Thursday, the fair will take place at the intersection of U.S. 50 and Route CC, next to State Technical College of Missouri in Linn. Ticket prices will be $5 for Thursday and $10 for Friday and Saturday. A season pass can be purchased for $15.
The fair is the only fundraiser for the Linn Lions Club, which organizes the annual event that drew 5,000 people last year. Cyndi Summers, secretary of the Linn Lions Club, said the organization hosts the fair instead of holding multiple smaller events like other Lions Clubs.
"When our fair got to be as big as it is, we said, 'You know, we think we can get more members and be a better organization to the community if we stick with just our county fair,'" Summers said.
One of the mainstay competitions of the fair, the 26th annual Mudbowl, had $7,000 added to the prize money and will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday. Other track events include a tractor pull at 7 p.m. Thursday, a figure eight race and a children's tractor pull at 7 p.m. Friday, and a children's Power Wheel mud run at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Contests are planned on all three days of the fair, including a parent-child look-a-like contest, barbecue cook-off, washer tournament, horseshoe throwing contest, chain-saw contest, 3-on-3 basketball tournament and homemade wine contest. Several games for children under 12 years old are planned for 9 p.m. Friday, and a children's karaoke contest is scheduled at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Excluding the track competitions, most contests require registration the day of the contest or do not require any registration.
Live music planned for the fair includes the "Finley River Boys" featuring Brett Dudenhoeffer from 9 p.m.-midnight Friday, the Osage Drifters from 7-8:30 p.m. Saturday and the Dave Baker Band from 9 p.m.-midnight Saturday.
A kitchen run by the Lions Club will sell Osage County's famous dishes among fair food staples, coupled with a beer garden serving "the coldest beer in the county."
"We are known for our fish sandwich and our pot roast — German pot roast sandwiches. You cannot go wrong by getting one of those sandwiches," Summers said.
Summers said the Lions Club puts all of the money raised during the fair back into the community, helping to fund academic and athletic programs, community services, and special requests for individuals.
"Our kids are what we're all about," Summers added.
By holding the fair, the Linn Lions Club was able to donate $20,000 throughout Osage County last year. Summers said the organization uses 50-100 volunteers every year to keep the event going. Nobody, including Summers, is paid "other than the reward of knowing I am giving back to my community."
For a schedule of the events and more information on contests, visit osagecountyfair.com.