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Community Fair traditions continue another year

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RANDOLPH - Randolph’s 2024 Community Fair will serve up a dose of tradition, alongside two events new last year and add a splash of tiedye or Hawaiian print for good measure.

Reaching Out Around Randolph (ROAR) is again sponsoring the Randolph Community Fair set for Friday, July 12, through Sunday, July 14. But the lineup of a dozen events through the weekend is an effort by community members, organizations and businesses alike.

Citywide garage sales will kickoff the fair activities, starting Friday and lasting through Saturday. Maps can be picked up at Jim’s Food Center or Cardinal Express.

This year’s Queen Bee, retired school nurse Julie Loberg, will be crowned on the opening night of the fair and reign as royalty over Community Fair festivities.

The Queen Bee award began last year as a nod to Randolph’s heritage as the Honey Capital of the Nation. Sandra Kuhlman was last year’s Queen Bee and was seen at many Community Fair events in tiara and sash, handing out stickers and other goodies throughout the weekend.

A fair staple is the Lied Randolph Public Library’s Family Fun Night. This year’s Friday night event will feature Wildlife Encounters and begin with a meal of walking tacos and taverns for a free-will donation.

After Wildlife Encounters, Randolph High School’s FFA chapter will feature vehicles that children can explore including the City of Randolph’s bucket and fire trucks; a tractor, tow truck, semi, and FedEx truck.

Saturday’s lineup of Community Fair fun includes the annual livestock show at the city park. The livestock show features more than 100 entries in swine, sheep, cattle and goats.

“Our livestock quality is just so good every year,” said Dennis Bazata, organizer of the annual show. “We get the best ones from all three counties, put them all together and it makes up a heck of a show.”

Judge Mike Roeber will again be on hand to judge the entries from youth in Cedar, Pierce and Wayne counties. Roeber does a nice job of providing critiques so that youth can learn more about their animals and perfect their showmanship before county fair season, Bazata said.

Beef will make up the majority of entries with Bazata expecting 50-60 head in the show, followed by 30 sheep entries, 20 goats and 15 swine.

Fairgoers can cool off with free swimming at the city pool from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and then groove the night away with a street dance downtown, starting at 8:30 p.m.

The majority of the fair’s activities land on the final day, Sunday, July 14.

An ecumenical church service will be held at the baseball field beginning at 9 a.m.

Before or after church, fairgoers can enjoy omelets served by Randolph’s Fire Department at the city auditorium. That event runs from 8 a.m. to noon.

Last year, a kiddie parade was added to the Community Fair lineup. It’s back this year but with a twist.

Parade participants are asked to decorate their bikes, strollers, golf carts and themselves in Hawaiian print or tie-dye for this year’s parade.

In order to prepare for the parade, the library will be hosting a tie-dye party from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, July 11. Shirts will be available for pre-order or individuals can bring their own items to tie-dye that night.

The parade route will start and end at the city auditorium at noon Sunday, July 14.

Randolph’s FFA Booster Car and Tractor Show will line downtown with hoods up as usual.

Car and tractor show registration will take place in the morning with the show starting at noon and judging at 2:30 p.m. Those vehicles featured in the show then parade around town starting at 3:30 p.m.

The city park will start to come alive with activities Sunday evening, starting with the kids peal tractor pull at 5 p.m. Children ages 4-13 are welcome to participate.

First State Bank will be serving its annual barbecue starting at 6 p.m.

ROAR’s Good Neighbor, Farm Family and Employee of the. Year awards will be given at 7 p.m.

The night will close out with kids activities including inflatables, games and virtual reality.

There will be no co-ed sand volleyball tournament as part of this year’s Community Fair and no alumni banquet. Alumni groups gather every other year, said Christie Larsen of ROAR.