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Crowds flocking to annual Kane County Fair

ST. CHARLES – Kane County Fair Board President Larry Breon watched Friday from the second floor of an administrative building as fair guests enjoyed the event’s entertainment. 

Breon said the Kane County Fair has been going really well this year.

He said the facility had been experiencing good crowds and that people were enjoying themselves. He noted that the success of every fair hinges on one uncontrollable factor.  

“The fair is so weather driven,” Breon said.

Organizers could have the best events lined up and have a great show, but if it “rains sideways” it is not going to work, he added. 

Apart from the weather, Breon said it was important to stay on top of popular trends and set up events that people want to see. ESPN started to show bull riding on TV and made the sport popular around the country, Breon said, as he highlighted the main show scheduled for Friday night and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday night. 

Breon said the board organizes surveys and utilizes social media to gauge local interest of events. He said that if there was one thing that he could say to citizens that have not visited the fair in recent years, it would be, “We have a world-class facility.” 

Breon said the trees, grass and shrubbery give the area a park-like feel. 

For Breon, the fair is all about 4-H, a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He said the first Kane County Fair he attended was in 1952 and that – 62 years later – the nature of fairs has seriously changed. 

They used to be all about agriculture ,he said. Farmers would come and learn about new farming techniques or new fertilizers. And although fairs have certainly evolved and adopted more modern forms of entertainment, 4-H still remains a big part of the Kane County Fair.

Breon said Kane County has a wonderful 4-H program, and the fair gives kids a chance to show the public what they have been working on. And 4-H certainly draws crowds. 

Throngs of people walked along the animal pens to look at the rabbits and pigs all passed out in their straw beds from the heat on Friday. 

Kelly Lepack and her son John, from Aurora, were attending the fair for the first time and spent two hours enjoying the weather and the fair. When asked about what he enjoyed most about the fair, John replied that he liked the bunnies and the rides. 

Lenkaitis Holsteins is a family farm located in St. Charles; it had a wooden board posted near the livestock that posed a question. 

“What is one word to describe your farm?” the sign read. The answer was written underneath and illustrated with almost a dozen photographs of the family enjoying life on the farm. “Crazy,” the answer said. 

Dawn Yoder and her two young children from Elgin were certainly having a crazy good time Friday afternoon. Dawn Yoder said they had come to see all the beautiful animals and try some of the rides. As she looked over at her kids bouncing on a trampoline contraption, she said the weather had been great for a day at the fair. 

Music pumping, kids screaming and sun shining, fair-goers enjoyed a beautiful day with classic fair rides and familiar scents wafting through the grounds. Residents can expect a somewhat similar weekend as forecasts predict sun on Saturday and Sunday – a staunch contrast to last year’s fair that was plagued with rain and tornado-like conditions. 

“Attitudes are better because of the good weather,” Breon said. “It’s a win, win.”

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