Marshall-Putnam County Fair celebrating 100 years

The Marshall-Putnam Fair takes you on a trip down memory lane as it presents 100 years of Country Pride at our Century-A-Fair from July 14-18.

The fair will be bringing back many fan favorites including the grandstand event that has appeared at all 100 Fairs – harness racing.

There will be activities for all ages throughout the Fair.

In addition to the races on Wednesday Night, we will have the Kick-off Dinner and Wine Tasting; Thursday Family Fun Night; Friday Night Demo Derby; Saturday Night PPL Tractor/Truck pulls; and Sunday Funday including the MP Antique & Stock Tractor Pulls and the Annual Car Show. In addition, Tim Gill, the woodcarver, will be returning along with the Special Fair Themed Contests and Events, and the annual MP Fair Antique Tractor Show. Throughout the fair, you can enjoy ImAGination Acres, Livestock Shows, Exhibitors’ Displays, Vendors, and your favorite Concessionaires.

Some of the favorite events are adding additional experiences this year to help commemorate our 100th Anniversary. These include the addition of Windy City Dueling Pianos to Wine Tasting. This year’s Thursday Night Concert is going all out bringing you three concerts in one night! The headliner is Tracy Byrd with opening acts - Craig Gerdes, and the Joe Stamm Band.

A very special addition to the celebration of 100 years is the Budweiser Clydesdales, making their first appearance at the fair in over 15 years. Trivia signs with historical facts and fair memorabilia will be displayed throughout the fairgrounds in honor of the fair’s great success. There will also be 100 colorful rocks hidden on the grounds which can be returned to the fair office to receive a special prize, one per person.

For more details on any of these events, please visit our webpage or phone the fair office at 309-364-2814.

Displays needed

As patrons of Marshall-Putnam Fair were reminiscing of past fairs, they recalled the display of local Seed Dealers lining the underneath of the grandstand and commented on how they miss seeing that. The Marshall-Putnam Fair would like to take a step back into the past and invite any local Seed Dealers of the past or their families, to place a nostalgic display underneath the grandstands.

We would also like to invite any Family-Owned Produce Businesses in the counties of Marshall or Putnam to setup a display of agricultural or horticultural products. These displays will be setup in the Horticulture and Ag Products Exhibitors Section of the Commercial Building. If interested in participating in either of these displays, please contact the fair office at 309-364-2814 or email us at

Marshall-Putnam Fair Essay Contest

In honor of the 100th Anniversary, the Marshall-Putnam Fair will be hosting an Essay Contest. The essay prompt is as follows: “What Does the Marshall-Putnam Fair Mean to Me?” This could include your most memorable fair moment(s) or maybe how the Marshall-Putnam County Fair has impacted you and your life.

Essays will be divided into three age groups: 10 & under with a requirement of a minimum of 100 words and a maximum of 200 words, ages 11-15 with a requirement of between 200 to 300 words, and ages 16 & over with a requirement of between 300 to 500 words. Each winning easy will receive $50 cash or $50 in Fairbucks (winner’s choice). In addition to prizes, the winning essays will be printed in the Harness Racing Programs and Pageant Programs.

The essays will also be submitted to the local newspapers, posted on our Facebook Page, and added to the Marshall-Putnam Fair Webpage. The original essays will be placed in the time capsule to be opened at the 125th anniversary of the Fair in 2046. Essays must be submitted no later than July 1, 2021.

To enter, you can mail your essay to P.O. Box 114, Henry, IL 61537 or email it to

Kevin Hieronymus

Kevin has been sports editor of the BCR since 1986 and previously was sports editor of the St. Louis Daily News, Tazewell News and ISU Daily Vidette. He is a 2021 inductee into the IBCA Hall of Fame as a media member and was awarded as 2021 IPA Best Sports Section and Best Sports Column