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2014 Douglas County Fair wraps up; highest attendance in years

The final day of the Douglas County Fair kicked off this morning with kids and creatures competing to become showmanship champions at the Round Robin Showmanship contest at 9 a.m. Douglas County 4-H members from ages 7 to 18 strutted steer, pigs, sheep and goats around the arena before expert judges in each category.

Despite fewer cars, Douglas County Fair's demolition derby remains as popular as ever

A mass of dirt clods rocketed a couple dozen feet into the air as one driver charged into a three-car pileup in the center of the arena, a cloud of steam engulfing the unfortunate vehicle that endured the brunt of the collision. The scene was par for the course Friday evening at the Douglas County Fairgrounds as drivers in all manner of mangled cars crashed into one another at the annual demolition derby.

Riders of all ages compete in Douglas County Fair's jackpot barrel racing

Baylie Moon, 19, stood outside the gates of the rodeo ring in the community building at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, her chocolate-brown horse Dozer at her side. The pair were fresh off their run around the cloverleaf-shaped course in the fair's annual jackpot barrel racing, and Dozer, an 11-year-old quarter horse, was eager for his post-race treat.

Baldwin City twins go 'hog wild' for Douglas County Fair

It's not yet 10 a.m., and a fight has already broken out in the front yard of the Anderson home outside Baldwin City. A pair of black and white spotted hogs size each other up, hoof to snout, and a sparring match commences with a few head-butts and fairly harmless bites. The whole thing doesn't look much different from a playful fight between puppies.

'Dewey Decimator' the subject of several library events leading up to demolition derby

Reading will meet twisted metal as a library themed car will enter the ranks of the Douglas County Fair’s annual demolition derby.

Old favorites, surprises in store at Douglas County Fair

"Fair Fever" will soon be in full swing at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The 2014 Douglas County Fair opens Saturday, and, in accordance with this year's theme, event organizers are hoping people will "catch the fun." Margaret Kalb, executive secretary of the fair's board, said visitors can expect a blend of old favorites and new additions to this year's lineup. The fair will run from July 19 to Aug. 2.

Demolition derby drivers duke it out at fair

Engines revving, exhausts blazing, bodies battered, tires twisted, and with various pieces falling off, competitors in the Douglas County Fair's demolition derby took aim at each other in multiple heats in the mud-filled outdoor arena Friday night. The competition pitted junker against junker — creating even more junk as the night went on — in what has come to be not only a favorite event at the county fair, but one that some participants have grown up in. By Meagan Thomas

Chefs pack plates with local flavor at annual cooking challenge

Eileen Horn was shuffling score sheets after the judges’ last bites at the third annual Chefs Challenge Friday evening at the Douglas County Fair. “They have never been this close,” said Horn, the county sustainability coordinator, “and it looks like this was gut-wrenching for the judges.” Three dishes, all jam-packed with locally sourced ingredients and bold but balanced flavors. Whose would win? By Sara Shepherd

Fairgoers put safety in the hands of others

Lane Kramar doesn't think much about ride safety. When the 15-year-old goes to the carnival at the Douglas County Fair, he's just looking to have fun. Like the Lecompton teenager, many fairgoers figure that someone is ensuring the rides are safe — but who? By Giles Bruce

Barrel racing helps mother and daughter to bond

Regan Zaremba, 15, has been riding horses for as long as she can remember. A fourth-generation rider, Regan learned all she knows about horses from her mother, Darby Zaremba, including how to barrel race. Regan and Darby, who is also the barrel racing coordinator for the Douglas County Fair, both competed in the Douglas County Fair Jackpot Barrel Racing Competition Friday night. By Meagan Thomas

Raising a bucket calf

Nine-year-old Chase Ice and his mother Heather Ice talk about all the work that goes into raising a bucket calf.

Barnyard Olympics

The third annual Barnyard Olympics were Saturday, Aug.6, 2011, at the Douglas County Fair.

Chef's Challenge at the Douglas County Fair

Chefs from three Lawrence restaurants participated in a Chef's Challenge Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, at the Douglas County Fair. Each chef was required to use locally grown food and shop for several items at the farmers' market on the fairgrounds.

4-H'ers, parents try to keep themselves and animals cool

Parents and relatives of 4-H'ers talk about keeping their kids and animals cool on a very hot day at the Douglas County Fair.

4-H'ers show off their feathered friends at poultry show

Douglas County 4-H'ers display their chickens, roosters, geese and turkeys during the poultry show judging on Tuesday.

Douglas County Fair Barrel Race

Douglas County Fair kicks off with its Jackpot Barrel Race on July 29, 2011.

Fair wraps up with barnyard competition

The 2010 Douglas County Fair came to a close Saturday evening. Children had the chance to compete in events they'd been training for all week with the Barnyard Olympics.

The Carnival Life

Carnival Workers with Moore's Greater Shows Carnival talk about lights, crowds and life on the road.

Llama contest features Eudora brothers

The llama competition at the 2010 Douglas County Fair featured a sibling rivalry between two Eudora brothers. The brothers look to hone their skills and return to the competition next year.

Demolition derby heat 1

The first heat from the demolition derby at the Douglas County Fair.