RUPERT — The Minidoka County Fair will kick off a week’s worth of events Monday offering a little something for everyone.
Many of the events are offered free of charge and the parking is free, Leann Smith, Minidoka County Fair secretary said.
“We want people to just come out and enjoy everything we have to offer here,” Smith said.
Some of the free events include the Tuesday concert, sponsored by PMT that will feature Charley Jenkins and an ice-cream and cobbler social served by the fair board.
“They usually serve up about 1,000 bowls of ice cream and cobbler,” Smith said.
Sixteen specially made huge Dutch ovens will be used to cook the raspberry, cherry, apple and peach dessert.
The ice-cream social immediately follows the Lions BBQ dinner, which is all a person can eat, $10 adults, $5 ages 6 and under.
All of the 4-H shows and displays in the buildings are also free.
Other fair highlights include the lawn mower races on Monday and the Tiny Tot Gymkhana on Tuesday.
“During the Tiny Tot the little kids ride a sheep or run barrels and if they are too little to do that they ride a stick horse,” Smith said.
Rodeos will be held Wednesday through Saturday with the queen coronation on Friday and the grandma queen crowning on Saturday.
Some of the food vendors will include Robins Roost with its Philly cheesesteak, Montana Steak with steak and shrimp on a stick and El Sombrero, from Jerome.
“Of course a favorite for many people is getting a hamburger and fries at the fair,” Smith said.
Other free events include all of the 4-H and FFA shows.
Jeni Bywater, 4-H program coordinator said the 4-Hers work hard all year to show off their projects during the fair.
This year the program has 332 members, 76 volunteers and 22 clubs.
“The numbers are staying remarkably stable,” Bywater said.
There has been an increase in the number of children raising goats. Last year out of a set of 20 new pens only four or five were filled.
“This year 18 pens are filled,” Bywater said.
The goat program has a new superintendent, Tawnya Tracy, Bywater said, who has worked hard sending out newsletters to 4-Hers with goat projects to make sure they are going to be successful.
Bywater’s daughter, Loren Bywater has been in 4-H for 13 years.
“I’ve gotten the most of leadership in the program,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of new people in the area and through the 4-H exchange program.”
Last year through the exchange program she traveled to Minnesota and this year the 4-Hers in Minnesota came to Idaho.
“I really enjoyed meeting the kids and learning about their culture,” she said.
All of the children in the programs work hard all year and the culmination of that is displaying their projects during the fair, Smith said.
“Our fair in not commercial,” she said. “It’s really a family fair.”