The annual Central Iowa Fair wrapped up over the weekend after several days of fun, and fair visitors were able to get their fill of fair food and entertainment to tide them over till next summer.
From Wednesday to Sunday, a variety of different events filled up the fair schedule including 4-H livestock shows, a youth rodeo, bull riding and many other events, and pig races were held three times a day all week long. The 2022 CIF Queen, Jessley Ash, and CIF Little Miss Princess, Milly Large, were crowned on Wednesday evening to kick off the fair, and throughout the week, they could be spotted helping out and participating in different events.
Central Iowa Fairgrounds Office Manager Shannon Espenscheid felt the fair had been highly successful, and Saturday was an especially big night because of the bull riding.
“Saturday with the bull riding and free entertainment, that’s always a really good night. People love to come out, and they love watching the riders on the bulls and so that’s a great time. The kids have had a great fair as well, and I think after the one year of COVID and then coming back last year and getting revamped, I think this year was just even better than last,” Espenscheid said. “We’ve had a really good fair.”
The mud volleyball tournament on Saturday afternoon was also a big hit with the crowds, and they gathered around the pit that had been dug out in the west parking lot of the fairgrounds to watch the different volleyball teams get down and dirty to win.
While some big events drew in more people, in general, Espenscheid said attendance levels were pretty steady throughout the week.
“I think there’s a testament to something for everyone to come out and enjoy and see, and what one person likes, somebody else might like something else, but it’s just been a really good time,” Espenscheid said.
Jodi Breniman, the Vice President of the Fair Board, echoed Espenscheid’s sentiments about the fair’s success and she felt everyone who came enjoyed it, especially this year’s new 4-H Alumni Showmanship event that took place on Wednesday night. Breniman said that the showmanship event will definitely be making a comeback at the 2023 fair.
“We had an absolutely great fair. It just blew up,” Breniman said. “Every night, we had a very good crowd. (Saturday) night was our bull riding and our concert and the stands were packed. We were very pleased with that, and we want to thank the community for coming out to the fair this year.”
Though the 2022 Central Iowa Fair has now come and gone, there is still the Iowa State Fair to look forward to next month from Aug. 11-21.
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or [email protected]