By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald
Things will continue to be active at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds toward the end of fair week this year.
The fair opens July 15 and runs through July 20. This year's theme is “The One & Only.”
Kelly Long, office manager at The Southern Iowa Fair, noted that there are several children's activities going on during fair week. These include the joke telling contest, cookie stacking and bubble gum blowing contest.
On July 19, the fair will feature the Supreme Showmanship Contest at the Pavilion at 5 p.m. Long explained that each livestock show during the week features a showmanship portion. Of course, this livestock includes horses, cows, pigs, goats and sheep.
“Those top showmen in each of those species go against each other and get judged on showing every animal, even though they might not have ever shown a horse. They're going to have to show all the animals.”
A lot of work goes into raising and caring for animals before fair time. Learning how to show animals is also a process.
“It's a daily routine of caring for those animals,” she said. “Then, also grooming — especially right before the fair.
“They have to work with the animal daily so that when they do come to the fair, the animal will act the way they want them to act.”
Music will also be a part of the 2013 Southern Iowa Fair on July 19. Strike Force will open for Head East at 7 p.m. in the Grandstand.
This year's Southern Iowa Fair guide book bills Head East as “The Midwest's Legendary Classic Rock Band.”
“They've been around a long time,” noted Long.
The music at the fair on July 19 doesn't end there. At 9:30 p.m., the Free Stage will feature “All Shook Up,” an Elvis tribute act. This show will also be on the Free Stage at 9 p.m. July 20.
Saturday, July 20, will include a multitude of events. Some of these include the Fourth Annual Best Backyard BBQ Contest, Monster Arm Wrestling at 3 p.m. and an antique tractor pull at 9 a.m.
Of course, July 20 will also feature a lot of activities for children including the Diaper Derby and Decorated Diaper Contest at 9 a.m.
There will also be an important educational opportunity for young people on July 20 at the Southern Iowa Fair. From 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Mahaska County Farm Bureau will host Ag in the Classroom west of the Free Stage.
“It kind of helps kids that maybe aren't on a farm get some information about ag in Iowa,” said Long, noting that it's important for children to know what goes on in the world of agriculture since Iowa is an agricultural state.
At 7:30 on July 21, Edge of Forever — Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd will hit the grandstand stage. Edge of Forever takes on the appearance of the legendary Lynyrd Skynrd during their performances.
As in years past, there will be daily activities going on throughout the fair's running time from July 15 to 20. These include the D&B Shows Carnival, Antique Tractors & Engine Display, Laser Alley, Quilt Show and Raffle and The Great Little Bear show.
Even though the fair ends on July 20, there will be Harness Races at the fairgrounds at 1 p.m. July 21 and 22, as well as a Gospel concert at 8 p.m. July 21. The Gospel concert will feature Adam's Voice and Shoal Creek Revival.
For a complete listing of events scheduled for this year's fair, visit http://www.southerniowafair.com.
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at email@example.com.