Chat about the Douglas County Fair

July 26, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Trudy Rice

The Douglas County Fair starts Friday, July 27, and runs through Aug. 5. Trudy Rice, director of the Douglas County Extension Office, will answer your questions about this year's event. More information about the fair can be found at


Hello, I'm Jon Niccum, entertainment editor of the Lawrence Journal-World, and I'll be moderating this chat. Please welcome Trudy Rice, director of the Douglas County Extension Office, who will answer your questions about this year's Douglas County Fair.

Trudy Rice:


We are ready to begin.


What's different about this year's event compared to previous year's?

Trudy Rice:

This year we have a few new features. First, tomorrow night we have a jackpot barrel racing that is free to the public.


We're especially interested in providing the opportunity for our children to see the animals. What days and hours may the general public view the livestock and other exhibits?

Trudy Rice:

The livestock and other exhibits will be open to the public from Wednesday, August 1 to Saturday, August 4. All buildings are open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.. Also, there will be a petting zoo available on Agust 1 and 2 from 1:00 to 10:00. It is a great place to bring kids.


Each year when I attend the 4-H horse show I am shocked at the fact the 4-Her's are not required to wear helmets when riding AT ALL TIMES. Can you explain this to me?

Trudy Rice:

Yes, we follow the State 4-H Horse Show rules. They do not require riders to wear helments. However, we do encourage 4-Her's to wear helments at the local level.


With all the recent happenings in the news and accidents at theme parks, what kind of safety measures is Douglas county taking to insure the safety of its residents? Will someone from Douglas county inspect these rides?

Trudy Rice:

This has certainly been a topic in the news recently. The State of Kansas is one of the few states that does not requre a safety inspection after each set-up of the carnival rides. We do feel that our carnival provider operates in a safe and responsible way. However, it is important to note that everyone engages in this activity at their own risk. There are many things to do at the fair in addition to the carnival and we encourage everyone to participate in all fair activities.


Are there events at the fair restricted to 4-H members? What about the turtle race, or entering food for the food sale?

Trudy Rice:

We do have some events and exhibit categories that are restricted to 4-H members. However, many areas are open for participation by everyone. We have Open Class divisions in Foods, Fine Arts, Horticulture and Flowers. This means that anyone can enter in those areas.

Everyone can purchase food at the food sale.

Also, anyone can participate in the Turtle Race and the Pedal Tractor Pull on Saturday, August 5.


How does the Douglas County Fair stack up against other fairs within the state?

Trudy Rice:

Douglas County has one of the largest fairs in the State. We have over 400 4-H members. Also, our free musical entertainment every evening brings a large crowd.

Not only do we have one of the largest fairs we also have one of the longest fairs. This gives the public more time to participate.


Will Chuck Mead be playing with a band, or is he by himself?

Trudy Rice:

It is our understanding that Cuck Mead will be performing by himself at the fair this year. Chuck is a former Douglas County 4-H member and he is excited for the opportunity to be at the fair this year. He will be on stage from 8-10:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 2.


It seems like there's more of an emphasis on music at this year's fair. Is that the case?

Trudy Rice:

For several years we have had 2-3 bands play in the evening. Then, for a couple of years we had a Saturday night concert.

This year we are having free musical entertainment Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This provides and alternative for people who do not want to attend the events in the arena such as the tractor pulls, demolation derby, and draft horse pull. I think that people will find that there is something for everyone at the fair.


Thank you Trudy Rice for participating in today's chat. Any final thoughts about the Douglas County Fair?

Trudy Rice:

We encourage everyone to come to the fair. Remember, the exhibits are open Wednesday, August 1 to Saturday, August 4. It is a great way to connect with agriculture and have some good, free family fun. See you at the fair.


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