The 2019 Dallas County Fair kicks off at 8 a.m. this Thursday, July 11. Located at 28057 Fairground Road in Adel, this year’s fair promises some significant changes, including a slightly bigger carnival, more free activities, new campsites and a Friday night concert.


“I think it is going to be a great family atmosphere. Our animal numbers are up from the previous years so our shows will be a little bit better than we hoped and the Clover Kids and young 4-H kids are always fun to watch,” Dallas County Fair Board Vice President Matt VanPelt said.


VanPelt also mentioned that both the horse show and rodeo have been moved from two days to one. The fair will also once again have $1 kids carnival rides from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Then, on Friday evening, the Dallas County Fair will host one of its most anticipated new events, a concert performance by Joe Diffie and opening act Dylan Schneider.


“I think you see a lot of places doing a country music concert. It’s been kind of a dream. This year we decided to take the leap and see if it works,” Dallas County Fair Board President Sean Hick said.


Hick noted that hosting a concert has been something the fair board has been working towards for awhile now. And, this past December, the Dallas County Fair Board was finally able to meet with a few vendors in order to make that goal a reality.


“I’ve been on the board seven years and ever since I’ve started I wanted to have a concert. It’s always kind of been my goal to get one there. So, I’m really excited for that,” VanPelt said. “I’m mostly excited to see how well our area will support us in that endeavor.”


Fair festivities will continue on Saturday with a Figure 8 and Circle Track Racing Event along with free live music courtesy of the band Farm Rock. The fair will then come to a close Sunday evening with a demolition derby to replace the tractor pull that had been held at the event in the past.


“It seems like a lot for one year to try so many new things, and we are nervous and hopeful at the same time,” VanPelt said.


Funding for the Dallas County Fair comes from both the county and sponsorships. This not only includes cash but also trade-ins such as when a contractor provides the use of a truck in exchange for a sponsor package.


The Dallas County Fair Board also relies considerably on help from 4-H and other local organizations in order to make sure festivities run smoothly.


“Without all the 4-H’s help, the fair wouldn’t come together as easy as it does,” Hick said, “For a lot of kids that don’t get to see the farming side or livestock, the fair is a good way to come out and see different animals.”


“I grew up in 4-H and I can’t tell you the things it teaches you that you retain your entire life. Having those responsibilities and learning from them. You can use that knowledge and those learned skills your entire life if you choose to,” VanPelt said.


Those interested in learning more about upcoming Dallas County Fair activities can view a detailed fair schedule at https://www.dallascountyfair.com/fair-schedule.