MORRIS – For some, the Fourth of July festivities wrapped up Friday, but for those attending the Grundy County Agricultural District Fair, the celebration lasted all weekend.
The annual fair was held again at the Grundy County Fairgrounds, and after hosting the area’s firework display Thursday evening, patrons continued to flock to the grounds in search of good food, family fun, and a wide variety of entertainment and activities throughout the weekend.
Saturday and Sunday were accompanied by warm weather and cloudy skies, which prompted many to stay on-site late into the afternoon.
“We originally only planned to come out for the fireworks,” said Allen Market of Channahon. “One we realized that the weather was going to be so nice on Saturday we decided to bring the kids back to hang out for the day on Saturday.”
Market brought his children, Allison, 6, Arlen, 9, and Alex, 8, to enjoy the many activities.
“It’s not too often that we can all agree on something but, a day at the fair was right up our alley this weekend,” Market said.
The family enjoyed the many rides and periodic shows held on the grounds and in the shade of the dance hall. Saturday saw the judging of market hogs, as well as beef cattle.
Crystal Kramer, 9, of Plainfield made the trip with her family to enter their cow, Augusta, in the judging.
“It’s a lot of work, but we get to have fun all day and show off our cow to everyone at the fair,” Kramer said. “I really want to win for my grandpa.”
The judging of the livestock took place early in the day Saturday and drew a substantial crowd of spectators, even with the sun and heat bearing down on the patrons and animals alike.
“I think getting the kids involved in this sort of activity teaches them a lot of responsibility and good habits,” said Kramer’s mother, Erica. “It teaches them to stick with something and how to be a respectful winner or loser.”
Saturday and Sunday also offered the option of unlimited use of the rides throughout the day for $20. All weekend the many rides were in full operation, swinging and spinning children and parents through the air and offering thrills for those who partook.
The Pocket Circus also was a highlight of the festivities. The one-man show entertained audience members by allowing children to participate in juggling and other tricks in performer Juan Friguglietti’s repertoire.
“I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing the smiling faces,” said Friguglietti, a veteran of more than two decades of performing. “It really makes getting up and performing a real treat for me and hopefully everyone in the audience.”
Sunday saw temperatures reach the lower-90s, prompting many to seek shade at the fairground’s dance hall shelter. Many opted for the available ice cream and cold refreshments while navigating the several rides and provided activities.
“It’s pretty hot today, but we all knew what we were getting into,” ride operator Raymond Pucel said. “You don’t come to Illinois in July and expect a cool breeze.”
Micro Championship Wrestling was the highlight for many Sunday afternoon. The traveling wrestling organization pits athletes of smaller proportions against one-another in feats of strength and wrestling entertainment. As an announcer commentated the ongoingmatches, crowds of children and parents cheered for their favorites and stared in awe of the unique spectacle offered.
“We just like giving everyone a good show,” said wrestler “Meatball” after his afternoon match.
The 2014 installment of the Grundy County Fair wrapped up Sunday evening. The live music, animals, and races wound down throughout the afternoon and left many parents and children smiling upon departure.
“I can tell the kids are already looking forward to the next fair,” Market said.