Ceremony 2

By Kathryn Menue


On Tuesday, Aug. 9, the Boone County Fair opened early in the morning, but the noon ceremonial flag raising really kicked-off the week’s festivities.

The ceremony proved to be extra special since the Boone County Fair was the only Illinois fair in session Tuesday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 14. Fairgoers had a lot to celebrate and a lot to be proud of in coming to one of the best fairs in the Midwest.

With minutes to go until the noon ceremony, the grandstands generated a generous gathering of people who crowded together to watch the opening of the fair and the beginning of the Colt Horse Racing that immediately followed the opening ceremony.

As the Color Guard took to the stage, a hush fell over the big crowd. Soon, the notes of the national anthem echoed through the Grandstand as patrons placed their hands over their hearts and removed their hats in respect for this great country.

Dan Walker perfectly performed the Star Spangled Banner on his trumpet as the American Flag, the Illinois Flag, and the POW/MIA Flag rose over the track.

Afterward, the Veterans of Foreign War Color Guard performed the 21-gun salute to conclude the opening ceremony.

With the opening ceremony complete, 2015 Fair Queen Jilliana Paul and 2015 Little Miss Melrose Martinez waved to the crowd to welcome them to the opening of the 2016 Boone County Fair.

Once a short intermission was complete, the Northern Illinois Colt Association Racing returned to the Grandstands for another free show. The colt racing made its mark at the 2015 Boone County Fair and returned in 2016 to jolt the crowd back to life once again.

CeremonyHarness Colt Racing consisted of four harnessed colts and their buggy drivers racing a total of one mile (or twice around the Grandstand track) to victory.

Dan Walker sounded off the racers with his trumpet and the crowd watched as the four, veteran competitors zoomed by the stands and around the track.

Heat I produced winner Midnight Curfew who took a 10 length lead over the other competitors. Midnight, racer #2, finished the race in 1:32.3.

As a result, Midnight Curfew won one of the prize blankets, graciously donated by Weavers Stables.

Other sponsors for the Harness Colt Racing included, but was not limited to, RJ Daniels Fuel and Tire; Union Feed Inc.; Jack’s MGF, Inc.; and The Delong Co. of Clinton, Wis.

Luau Louie took a second place finish in the opening run.

Heat II really sparked the crowd’s interest with a close race coming down to a photo finish between competitors Straight Rate and Smooth and Creamy.

Screams echoed from the crowd cheering for nearby competitor Straight Rate and trainer George from Marengo.

Crowd members shouted, “Come on, George,” over and over again.

The chanting must have helped, because Straight Rate and George won the second heat with Smooth and Creamy falling into second place.

The intense races continued into the afternoon with races lasting until 3 p.m. Even then, the races weren’t finished. Racing continued from noon to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10 as well.

Luckily for fairgoers, the event was free both days and offered a fun, tense, and heart pumping start to the Boone County Fair.


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