Vinland Fair promises old-fashioned fun

Leaping to the finish line, children compete in a gunny sack race at the Vinland Fair. The fair kicks off today with activities for the whole family.

Larry Craig, member of the Vinland Fair board, walks through the Vinland Fair fairgrounds exhibit building Wednesday after making preparations for the opening of the fair. The 107th Vinland Fair begins Thursday with old-time farm-skill contests and horseshoe pitching training in the afternoon and a talent show, rabbit and poultry show and a concert by the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band in the evening. The exhibition building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Three days of old-time family fun kick off in Baldwin City on Thursday.

The 107th annual Vinland Fair, which features tractor pulls, sack races and homemade pies, takes place at 1736 N. 700 Road through Saturday.

“It’s just more of a community fair: no carnival, old-fashioned,” explained Mike Eckman, member of the Vinland Fair board. “And there’s supposed to be great weather.”

Eckman said the Friday night tractor pull generally brings out the biggest crowd, and this year features a performance by musical group Rural Harmony. And new to the fair for 2014 is the Renegade Pullers lawn mower pull on Saturday.

The fair is free to the public, except for the food, which includes a homemade chicken noodle dinner on Friday and homemade fruit pies all three days.

In addition, construction is now complete on Haskell Avenue between 23rd and 31st streets, the main route from Lawrence to Vinland.

Highlights of this year’s Vinland Fair include:


All day — Build-a-scarecrow show; antique quilt and apron show

2 p.m. — Farm-skills contest; horseshoe pitching training for all ages

6 p.m. — Talent show (entries must be made to Matt Kirby by 2 p.m. at 785-594-3849)

6:30 p.m. — Poultry show (entries must be in place by 6 p.m.)

7 p.m. — Baldwin High School band performs; rabbit show (entries must be in place by 6:30 p.m.)

7:15 p.m. — Flower show judging

7:30 p.m. — Alferd Packer Memorial String Band performs


10 a.m. — Stock bicycle races

Noon — Races; sack races; softball throw; tug of war

4:30-6 p.m. — Antique tractor pull weigh-in

6 p.m. — Off-farm tractor pull

7 p.m. — Antique tractor pull

7:30 p.m. — Rural Harmony performs


9 a.m. — Horseshoe pitching

11 a.m. — Box turtle race and pet parade (registration starts at 10 a.m.)

1 p.m. — Livestock judging begins (exhibits must be in place by 10 a.m.)

2:30 p.m. — Pedal tractor pull (weigh-in at 2 p.m.)

3 p.m. — Renegade Pullers lawn mower pull

3:30 p.m. — Watermelon seed-spitting contest (registration at 3 p.m.)

7 p.m. — Homemade ice cream contest judging and serving (freezing begins at 5 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. — Blue Stem band performs