Farm life meets city life this week as the annual Douglas County Free Fair goes into full swing.
Saturday morning about 100 horses and their handlers participated in the horse show and judging in the arena.
By late morning Wyatt Schumann and his quarter horse, Missy, already had one purple ribbon to share from halter judging. Later the two stood together and watched others compete.
"I do everything with her," Wyatt, 9, a member of the Stull Busy Beavers 4-H club, said of he and his horse.
Today an open horse show will take place at the arena at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds. Horse owners wanting to compete should check in at 2 p.m.
In other buildings at the fairgrounds, 4-H members and fair workers scrambled to get tables and decorations ready for exhibitors. Judging for exhibits such as arts and crafts, woodworking and livestock won't begin until Tuesday and Wednesday.
At least 1,600 exhibit entrees are expected, said Margaret Kalb, secretary for the fair board of directors.
One of the 4-H members helping prepare the buildings was Kari Hadl, 14, a member of the Eudora 4-H club. Kari also planned to exhibit her work in several areas for judging, among them clothing, photography and arts and crafts. She also will show off lambs she has raised.
Kari, however, said she had other reasons for enjoying the fair.
"I just like being up here," she said. "To tell the truth, I like seeing and talking to my friends."
Traditionally the biggest event of the fair is the demolition derby, which will be at 7 p.m. Friday in the rodeo arena. There are 3,000 tickets for the event that will go on sale at noon Wednesday for $10 each at the fairgrounds. Fifty to 60 cars will participate in one of two categories, full size or compact.
Jackpot horse barrel racing, which proved a hit last year, is back again and open for anyone who wants to compete. It will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the rodeo arena.
Playing at this year's concert at 8 p.m. Saturday in the rodeo arena is Asleep at the Wheel. Dixie Road will open for the band at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $15, and reserved tickets are $25. Tickets go on sale Monday by calling 843-7058 ext`. 18 or Tuesday by calling the fair board at 841-6322.
Free concerts at the stage area will be 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday featuring Back Porch Blues, from Manhattan, and 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday featuring Dixie Cadillacs.
The weather should cooperate for most of the fair. Although today could see the temperature reach near 100 degrees, highs for most of the week will be in the mid-80s, according to the National Weather Service in Topeka. There is a slight chance of rain Monday.
That will be a far cry from last year when fair week fell during one of the hottest periods of the summer.
"That was really hot," said Richard Ice, a fair board member. "I don't ever remember it being that hot during the fair."