As Greene County joins the rest of the nation in trying to return to some semblance of normalcy following a difficult year created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was recently announced another traditional event will return this year to an in-person capacity.

The legendary Jacktown Fair, which is celebrating its 156th year in 2021, will be held July 20-24 at the Jacktown Fairgrounds in Wind Ridge.

The fair week will begin with a worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 18, followed by the Queen and Princess Competition at 7 p.m. that evening at the fairgrounds.

The fair will officially kick off with the traditional parade Tuesday, July 20, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Wind Ridge.

The public is invited to come be a part of the nation’s oldest continuous fair by being in the Jacktown Fair annual parade,” said Marcia Sonneborn, parade chairperson.

As of press time, the board of directors of the Richhill Agricultural Society had not yet selected the Grand Marshal for the parade, Sonneborn said.

The parade will feature reigning 2019 Jacktown Fair Queen Emily Cooke, the daughter of Katie Cooke of Sycamore; the 2021 Jacktown Fair Princess, who will be crowned July 18; and the contestants vying to be this year’s Fair Queen.

In addition, state and local dignitaries will be invited to participate in this year’s parade.

The parade will have two float contests. Entries in the Mini Float Contest entries will receive prizes of $40, $30, $20 and $10. This is to be a float constructed on a child’s wagon, a wheel barrow, garden cart, small cart, etc. It can be hand pulled or pulled by a lawn size tractor.

This contest, which started for the first time last year, will be in addition to the traditional Float Contest, for which winning entries will receive $100, $75, $50 and $25.

Both float contests will utilize this year’s fair theme “Making Memories, One Fair at a Time.”

Sonneborn said float entries will be judged on their attractiveness, design, workmanship, use of the theme, originality and other elements.

“Anyone wishing to enter a float or entry corresponding to this year’s theme is encouraged to do so,” she said.

The Jacktown Fair Board would like to invite all interested bands, businesses, churches, fire companies, groups, organizations and individuals to participate in the parade. Entries encompassing interesting, entertaining, showy or unusual items will be welcomed.

“We are also interested in having antique and classic cars, clowns, fire equipment, horses, regional/local queens and princesses, etc. in the parade,” Sonneborn said.

She added those wishing to enter the parade should contact her as soon possible, so the parade’s line can be constructed. Dates of entry will be taken in to consideration when forming the parade line.

For an entry and for more information about the Jacktown Fair Parade, call 724-428-4344, call or text Marcia Sonneborn at 724-747-4631, or email marciasonne@windstream.net.

Information about the Jacktown Fair may be found by visiting www.jacktownfair.org and the fair’s Facebook page.

The Jacktown Fair is sponsored by the Richhill Agricultural Society, which was originally named The Richhill Agricultural, Mechanical and Manufacturing Association in its charter formed July 6, 1866. The first Jacksonville Fair, as it was initially named, occurred Oct. 3-4 of that same year.

The 2020 Jacktown Fair was severely modified because of the pandemic, resulting in the event being held over a few days, and only offering several public activities, including a church service and an invitation-only market goat and market rabbit show.

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