071421_mer_new_rileycountyfairwindow.jpg

A window at Sorell-Iversen Chiropractic Clinic in downtown Wednesday morning advertises the upcoming Riley County Fair. The fair will take place from July22-26 at the CiCo Park fairgrounds.

The Kaw Valley Rodeo, a full carnival and open-class exhibits are returning to the Riley County Fair following a year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is probably going to be one of the bigger fairs we’ve had,” said Gary Fike, county extension director.

The Riley County Fair kicks off officially July 22, but events started as early as Saturday morning.

Photography judging begins Tuesday followed by other visual arts and open class exhibit contests, which start Wednesday. The 4-H bake sale is planned for 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. The fashion revue is at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“It’s really heartwarming to see all those kids working together and helping each other out and enjoying the fair,” Fike said.

The rodeo begins at 8 p.m. Thursday and starts at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well. Fike cautioned the public to get to the fair early if attending the carnival or fair in the evenings. The public cannot park in the north parking lot as it’s only for rodeo contestants, 4-H livestock trailers and other reserved groups.

People can park in the gravel parking lot near CiCo Park Pool south of Bishop Stadium, Fike said. The Sunflower Lions Club will direct traffic to help because of ongoing construction on Kimball Avenue.

People can visit the carnival in the evenings from 6 to 10 p.m.

“It’ll be a big, full carnival like people are used to,” Fike said.

Pottorf Hall will be open to the public this year and closes at 10 p.m. every night. Last year, officials closed the building to the public because of the pandemic.

“Last year was such an odd year,” Fike said. “I’m just tickled we’re having everything that we’ve had in the past.”