Youngsters cuddle a rabbit during the 2018 Okanogan County Fair.

OKANOGAN – The best of Okanogan County livestock, produce, crafts and homemaking items will be displayed this week during the annual county fair.

The fair opens at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the fairgrounds, 175 Rodeo Trail. Admission will be charged, with daily and four-day passes available. Children 5 and younger will be admitted free.

New this year are spruced-up race track and arena areas.

Davis Shows’ carnival is back after a one-year hiatus. Also returning is the Pioneer Project history hall in the commercial building.

The Agriplex and grounds between barns will be chock-full of commercial exhibits. A variety of food vendors will set up on the grassy midway area between the Agriplex and Arts and Crafts building.

Special entertainers throughout the weekend include magician Jeff Martin, ventriloquist Vikki Gasko and comedian-musician Joe Stoddard. The Night Riders will perform Friday at 9 a.m. for dancing and Radio ‘80s will perform at 9 p.m. for Saturday’s dance.

ProWest rodeo performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the rodeo arena, and horse racing is planned at 1 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday at the grandstands.

Queen Katie Keane will reign over the fair.

Whitney Wilson and Julie Dellinger, both juniors at Tonasket High School, are seeking the 2020 queen’s crown. A pageant is planned at 7 p.m. Thursday on the stage and coronation will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in the same location.

Thursday brings a full range of livestock classes for rabbits, swine, cattle and sheep. Cat classes, youth horsemanship, tractor driving, entertainment on the midway stage and Okanogan County Public Utility District demonstrations also are planned.

Friday highlights include poultry, beef, sheep, cat and rabbit events, plus the queen’s luncheon at 4 p.m.

Saturday brings more livestock events, demonstrations, noon eating contests on the stage and the 3 p.m. market stock sale in Berg Brothers Pavilion.

Fair activities wrap up Sunday with an 8 a.m. worship service on the stage and rabbit barn awards at the same time in the rabbit barn, 9:30 a.m. parade of champions, a horse playday in the rodeo arena, and fur and feather auction in the Berg Brothers Pavilion.

The fair closes at 3 p.m. Exhibits can be picked up then.

Exhibitors will vie for premium points, with money awarded for different colored ribbons according to a points system outlined in the fair premium book. The deadline has passed for entering exhibits.

Premium checks will be mailed.

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