Kane County Fair offers carnival rides, pig races

Fair will continue through Sunday

Seeing pigs race around a track for the prize of an Oreo cookie is what keeps Marc Larson of Downers Grove coming back to the Kane County Fair year after year.

“I’ve been coming out here every year since 2007,” Larson said while at the fair on Thursday. “I like seeing them every year. It’s something that you don’t see anywhere else.”

The 152nd edition of the Kane County Fair will take place through Sunday at the Kane County Fairgrounds, located at the intersection of Randall Road and Oak Street in St. Charles.

Zach Johnson, owner of Texas-based Swifty Swine Racing Pigs, said he was glad to be back at the Kane County Fair this year after last year’s fair was cancelled because of the pandemic. His racing pig shows are a longtime act at the show.

“This is my 23rd year at the Kane County Fair,” he said. “People love pig racing because it’s not something they can turn on the TV and see every day. It happens once a year.”

After the pandemic cancelled many events last year, Johnson said this year, “people are just ready to get out and have some fun and enjoy the outdoors and watch the pig races. It’s been a year since then they’ve seen the pig races and they’re ready to get back into it.”

Swifty Swine will have pig races at the fair every day through Sunday, which is the last day of the fair. Race times are at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

4-H clubs are also showing off their projects at the fair, including Maple Park-based Lucky Maples 4-H Club. Graham Olson of DeKalb was at the fair tending to the cows his club leases from a dairy farmer in Sycamore.

“You got to walk it, feed it, give it water, clean its pen and wash it,” Olson said in explaining the duties involved in taking care of the cows.

His mother, Carrie Olson, took note of the work involved in raising cows.

“It’s been fun but it’s a lot of work,” she said. “It makes you appreciate even more the farmers out there.”

Madyson Block, 15, of Sycamore, was grooming her sheep Thursday afternoon. She has been a member of the Burlington Ag 4-H Club for seven years.

She likes raising sheep.

“They’re really fun,” Block said. ‘We take them on walks.”

Popular activities returning to the fair this year include a carnival, a petting zoo, bull riding and a demolition derby. In addition, kids can participate in a number of activities in the Prairie Events Center building.

A classic car show will be held on Saturday and Sunday and a wide variety of music will be featured at the Kane County Fair. Free soundstage live acts include Rosie & The Rivets at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Hi Infidelity at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 7th Heaven at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Kane County Health Department will also host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More information is available at the Kane County Fair’s website, kanecountyfair.com.

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.