Kent County Youth Fair

Come to the fair
By Sarah Harmon
EW writer Sarah Harmon in Paris
EW writer Sarah Harmon in Paris
If you’re a country boy or country girl, the first week of August in Lowell, Michigan is a little slice of heaven. For the past eighty years, the Kent County Youth Fair has been serving up some of the best free entertainment on this side of the state. The barns are always filled with dozens of cows, pigs, goats, horses, chickens, and rabbits, but this fair is about a lot more than checking out the animals from local farms. The kids and teens involved learn valuable lessons from the months they spend preparing: getting up at 4am to feed their calf, training their animals to behave properly, and putting together presentations for judges. All we often see is a barn full of critters, but what the Kent County Youth Fair staff see is a group of kids who will become hard-working, talented, and confident adults.
The biggest day of the fair is the auction on Thursday
The biggest day of the fair is the auction on Thursday
Not a big animal lover? No matter your age, they’ve got something perfect for you. Ionia County may have a circus, but Kent County has Audacious Hoops! After watching one of this group’s energetic performances, you will never look at a hula hoop the same way again. The best part is that Audacious Hoops offers classes in two Grand Rapids locations, so you have the opportunity to learn their techniques for next year’s fair.
Kids are running to the library to prepare for Tuesday August 5. In a brilliant collaboration with KDL, the KCYF is once again offering Reading for Rides where kids who read five books can go on all the rides free noon to 4pm. After all that reading, don’t worry if your child complains about having no new, interesting books in the house. This year, as part of Reading for Rides, there will be a free book exchange where they can drop off old books and pick up some new ones.
Between the talent shows, Bingo, karaoke, and tractor pulls, it’s remarkable just how much they can squeeze into one week at the fair. Every day is different, so you can bring the family to Non-profit Wednesday then come back for a whole new experience on Handi-Capable Friday. However, if you can only make it once, Saturday is the time to go. The day’s events include an artist creating sidewalk art, dollar rides, and disc golf. You won’t regret a day or more at the Kent County Youth Fair, but if you miss out, you’ve got a whole year to wait for your next chance.
Here are some of the fair highlights:
Monday Aug. 4th Carnival rides open $14 mega pass specials
Tuesday Aug. 5th Reading for rides, kids read and ride for free
Wednesday Aug. 6th Wristband special $18 mega pass, community day
Thursday Aug. 7th Agricultural day, livestock auction, small animal and large animal sales
Friday Aug. 8th handi-capable day, family line dance with Lia’s line dancing and dance
Saturday Aug. 9th Kids day, sidewalk chalk fun, princess tea party, puff the dragon pedal pull
Tractor pulls are on Monday with weigh in at 6 p.m. and open event at 7 p.m.
Team tractor pull is on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and draft horse demonstration at 7 p.m.
Draft horse pull is on  Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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Copyright (c) 2014 story by Sarah Harmon

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