Marshall-Putnam Fair to feature dozens of activities for all ages July 14-21

‘Once Upon-A-Fair’ this year’s theme

Eden Johnson of Hennepin, and Reese Lenkatis of Mark pet their cow before showing it at the Marshall-Putnam 4-H Fair on Wednesday, July 9, 2023 in Henry.

The Marshall-Putnam Once Upon-A-Fair will feature many family friendly events throughout the course of the festival Sunday, July 14, through Sunday, July 21, at the fairgrounds in Henry.

This year the Marshall-Putnam Fair celebrates 103 years.

Tracy Lawrence will provide a headline music act 7 p.m. Thursday with Confederate Railroad and Tyson Schulte. Earlier Thursday, the Henry Torpedo Boys will return to the stage from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Hunt Building for Senior Day. Doors open at 8 a.m. when seniors will be greeted by local officials and Rotary Club members of the two counties.

The fair will kick off Sunday with a vendor show, County Fair Stampede 5K, food truck fest, harness races and the Little Miss Pageant, followed by the Junior Miss and Miss pageants. The food truck fest will feature 10 different food trucks: The Fair Lady, Krazy Snow Kone & Candy Factory, Tacos La Rosita, Big B BBQ, Webbs, Davis Delights Ice Cream, Kona Ice, E J Pierogi, Top That and Balco Funnel Cakes. The vendor show will feature 20 vendors under the grandstand and 14 tents across from the grandstand.

Wednesday will be a kickoff dinner 5 to 7:30 p.m. serving pork chop or ribeye sandwiches for $12, or a hot dog for $6, along with all-you-can-eat sweet corn, green beans, applesauce, peaches and ice cream. Carryouts are available.

Each day the ImAgination Acres will be providing a special activity for children to do. The schedule is 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday; 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

A cookie stacking contest will be held 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, in the Hunt Building. Children and adults can test the steadiness of their hand during the free contest. Prizes will be awarded.

A crowd favorite, Family Fun Night will be 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday. There will be a number of activities, including inflatables, dancing, a magician/ventriloquist/balloon artist and Dynamo Dogs shows.

Starting at 1:30 p.m. Friday there will be bingo and at 5 p.m. there will be a chalk drawing contest followed by the power wheel derby at 7 p.m.

The demolition derby will be at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Taste of the Marshall-Putnam Fair Cookoff will return Saturday in the Commercial Building. There are four different categories. “The Great Pumpkin” category, sponsored by Hilly Lane Pumpkins will feature dishes prepared using pumpkin. The “Apple-A-Fair” category is sponsored by Tanners Orchard and must contain apples. The third category “Viva Italia” is sponsored by Mona’s and Capponi’s. For this category contestant must use Nildo’s meat sauce or alfredo sauce to prepare an Italian dish. The final category. “Jr. Chef Roundup,” is for aspiring chefs 12 and younger. Setup begins at 9 a.m. and the displays will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon. Contestants will be given 4 feet of an 8-foot table to display their dish and recipe. They are encouraged to decorate their area. Judging will be based on taste, originality of motif and appearance. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category. Contestants must bring their items already prepared accompanied by two recipes cards, one with their name and one without their name.

Saturday also will be filled with activities to do from afternoon to evening with events, such as the Cutest Little Farmer Contest, Longest Ponytail Contest, Kiddie Tractor Pull, Potato Decorating Contest and the Frozen T-Shirt Contest.

New this year on Saturday, children from 2 to 11 years of age will be able to participate in the Into the Woods Contest. They will dress as their favorite princess, prince, fairytale character or nursery rhyme.

PPL America’s Pull will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

There will be Krazy Kickball – no entry fee, all ages, all abilities and Swiftie Bracelet Making followed by a Swiftie Dance Party with DJ Mara on Sunday. The afternoon will conclude with a chainsaw carvings auction.

Multi-day events will include pony rides by Ponies RUs LLC, inflatables, a magician, a balloon artist, rock hunting for prizes and The Dynamo Dogs.

Go to or call the fair office at 309-364-2814 for more information.

Sunday, July 14

8 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Vendor show

8 a.m.: County Fair Stampede 5K

11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Food Truck Fest

Noon: Harness races

4 p.m.: Little Miss Pageant

5:30 p.m.: Junior Miss and Miss Pageant

Tuesday, July 16

6 p.m.: Color Run for Fun CreatiVet

Wednesday, July 17

5 p.m.: Kickoff dinner

5 p.m.: Wine tasting

6 p.m.: Dueling pianos

Thursday, July 18

9 a.m.: Senior citizen program

9 a.m. Junior swine show

2 to 7 p.m.: Free Family Fun Night

7 p.m.: Tracy Lawrence concert with Confederate Railroad and special guest Tyson Schulte

Friday, July 19

11 a.m.: Poultry show

1:30 p.m. Bingo Blitz

3 p.m.: Beer tent opens

5 p.m.: Chalk drawing

7 p.m.: Power wheels derby

7 p.m.: Demolition Derby

9 p.m.: Kickapoo Junction Band

Saturday, July 20

8 a.m. Sheep show

8:30 a.m.: Western pleasure horse show

10 a.m.: Junior beef show

10 a.m. to noon: Taste of Marshall-Putnam Fair cookoff

11 a.m.: Kiddie Tractor Pull

Noon: Beer tent opens

12:30 p.m.: Bags tournament

1 p.m.: Down in the Barn activities

3 p.m.: Raw potato decorating contest

4 p.m.: Marshall-Putnam show choir

5 p.m.: Chillers and thrillers

5:30 p.m.: PPL America’s Pull

9 p.m.: DJ Mara

Sunday, July 21

8 a.m.: Ecumenical church services

8 a.m.: Top 50 Car Show

8 to 10 a.m.: Fair breakfast

10 a.m.: Open Beef Jackpot Show

10 a.m. Rabbit show

10:30 a.m.: Open Swine Jackpot Show

10:30 a.m.: Antique and stock tractor pull, garden tractor pulls and UTV pull

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Children’s Sunday Funday

Noon: Adult Sunday Funday

3:30 p.m.: Chainsaw carvings auction

4-H kids compete for best of show at the Marshall-Putnam 4-H Fair on Wednesday, July 9, 2023 in Henry.
Children ride a train during the 102nd Marshall-Putnam Fair on Thursday, July 13, 2023 in Henry.
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