5 Things You Can’t-Miss at the 90th Annual Lake County Fair

The smell of funnel cakes in the air can only mean one thing: the 90th annual Lake County Fair is just around the corner! “Summer’s Best Fest” has returned for its ninth decade of family fun at the Grayslake facility.

From livestock barns and competitive exhibits to motocross and demo derbies, from live musicians to Lake County local talent and from fabulous food to thrilling Midway rides, the 90th annual Lake County Fair has fun for the entire family.

He loved the pony ride! 🐎#family💙#lakecountyfair2017#sundayfunday

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There’s so much you can explore at the fair every year, but these are five things you can’t miss at the 90th annual Lake County Fair from Wednesday-Sunday, July 25-29.


Live Entertainment

The Grayslake fest always knows how to push the envelope when it comes to musical talent. The headliners of this 90-year-old party include Bella Cain on Thursday (7:30-10:30 p.m.), 7th Heaven on Friday (9-11 p.m.) and American English (9-11 p.m.) on Saturday. Bella Cain exclusively tours the Midwest. The seven-year-old band plays what’s hot on the Top 40 Country Billboard list and is a recipient of the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Country Group of the Year award. Bella Cain kind of does it all as they also write their own original songs.

If you’ve been anywhere where Lake County libations have been served, you may have heard the awesome sounds of 7th Heaven. The Chicago-based band has written over 3000 songs and are a Midwestern favorite. Their song “Sacred Trust/After You’re Gone” reached no. 2 in the British Music Charts. Seventh Heaven has released over a dozen albums to date and is sure to rock your socks off at the fairgrounds.

American English is everyone’s favorite faux Beatles band. The Liverpool-inspired band has been voted “Best Tribute Band” for six years straight, received Illinois’s “Entertainer of the Year” award and achieved tons of other local accolades. The four American lads make fans “Twist and Shout” and take you “Across the” Beatles “Universe.” The British/American invaders take the fab four’s explicit details during their performance like costume changes, vintage instruments and special effects.

4-H Demonstrations/Ag Adventure presented by the Lake County Farm Bureau

The Lake County Fair 4-H youth members individually or with a team member give a presentation of their agriculture education project. These bright students provide visual aids like posters and digital exhibitions to show audience members and judges their expertise on the subject matter they’ve chosen. Some of the demonstrations include preparing a cooked dish, grooming/raising an animal, etc. Another experience for the youngsters is the Ag Adventure presented by the Lake County Farm Bureau located in the Expo Hall. This interactive, miniature farm gives children the chance to be farmers for a day. Here is a schedule for the 4-H demonstrations and Ag Adventures at the 90th Annual Lake County Fair:

Wednesday, July 25

  • 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging: 9 a.m.
  • 4-H Open Swine Judging: 9 a.m.
  • 4-H Dairy Goat Judging: 9 a.m.
  • Ag Adventure: 11 a.m.-7 p.m
  • 4-H SHeep Market Lambs Judging: 1 p.m.
  • 4-H Open Steer Judging: 4 p.m.

Thursday, July 26

  • Ag Adventure: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • 4-H Small Pet Demonstration: 11 a.m.
  • 4-H Poultry Demonstration: 2 p.m.
  • 4-H Goat Milking Demonstration 6 p.m.

Friday, July 27

  • Ag Adventure: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • 4-H Small Pet Demonstration: 11 a.m.
  • 4-H Poultry Demonstration: 2 p.m.

Saturday, July 28

  • Ag Adventure: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • 4-H Small Pet Demonstration: 11 a.m.
  • 4-H Poultry Demonstration: 2 p.m.
  • 4-H Goat Milking Demonstration: 6 p.m.

Sunday, July 29

  • Ag Adventure: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • 4-H Small Pet Demonstration: 11 a.m.
  • 4-H Goat Obstacle Course: 2 p.m.

Pro Rodeo Stampede/Demo Derbies

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Fuel your passion for revved-up action and get a taste of the wild west with the demolition derbies and the Pro Rodeo Stampede in the Grandstand. Smash enthusiasts can enjoy the nonstop action while marveling at the brute force of organized chaos and destruction of a demolition derby. The smash fest or demo derbies feature Car Soccer and Figure 8 Racing on Wednesday as fans will witness a variety of vehicle classes bully each other at the Grandstand like power wheels, hot wheels, lawn mowers, school buses, trucks and many more. A giant soccer ball is placed between these cars, and they will create their own FIFA World Cup. Saturday crash course festivities feature Megasaurus, a robotic monster that feasts on different vehicles. He’s hungry, and he’s an arsonist as he breathes fire out of his mouth. The fair closes Sunday evening with the Big & Small Car Derby, Trailer Races & Kids Powerwheels Derby presented by Master Truck & Trailer. Attendees can view cars of all kinds play a smashing role in each other’s destruction.

The Pro Rodeo Stampede takes place on Saturday, July 29 at 2 and 7 p.m. The rodeo presented by Big Hat Rodeo has attendees exclaim “Yeehaw!” as these cowgirls and boys demonstrate bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, saddle-bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling and so much more. These rodeo professionals work with one goal, “make every performance the wildest, most exciting and fun it can be.”

Fair Fare

It’s not the fair without #donuts from Anderson’s candy shop! #yum

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Each year the Lake County Fair blesses our bellies with delicious eats. Here are a few of the unique Lake County local bites that are gracing the Grayslake grounds this year. The fair has added even more fare vendors to this year’s edition of the festivities.

  • Bauer’s Catering: Waffle ice cream sandwiches
  • Helen & Sons: Famous Salt Water Taffy
  • Andersons Candy from Richmond: Chocolate bars, truffles, brittles, toffee, sponge candy, pretzels, donuts popcorn, fudge and more.
  • Funnel Cakes
  • Gator on a stick (new)
  • Fried Cheesecake (new)

Timberworks Lumberjack Show

New for the Lake County Fair is the Timberworks Lumberjack Show. Logrolling, axe throwing, speed carving and climbing are just a few of the featured performances in this woodsy event. These connoisseurs of timber utilize traditional and modern lumberjack techniques as they also mix in a touch of comedy and a history lessons. This is a can’t miss, especially when they begin lumber sculpting. The lumberjacks go to work Wednesday-Saturday at 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

5 Things You Can’t-Miss at the 90th Annual Lake County Fair – Honorable Mentions


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Of course, there are a plethora of breathtaking, mouthwatering, critter-petting, dance-moving endeavors you can embark on, so here are a few honorable mentions to our 5 things you can’t miss at the 89th Annual Lake County Fair list.

  • Banana Derbies
  • Ham Bone Express Pig Racing
  • The Visit Lake County Stage (Saturday, July 28)
  • Midway Carnival Rides
  • Motocross

For more information about the 90th annual Lake County Fair, continue here. Stay tuned for our top 5 fair eats coming soon.

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