There’s nothing quite like a stroll through the county fair or the thrill of the grandstand entertainment, whether it’s tractor pulls, rodeo or the demolition derby. Not loud enough for you? There’s also the roar of speeding watercraft on the Rock River. But what if your stomach is growling? Well, sink your teeth into dinner at the Steak Fry, something grilled along the river or just a delicious hot dog. Of the 5 Things To Do in the Sauk Valley, that last just might be the tastiest.
1 Meet you at the fair. From the grandstand to the new ground shows, the 168th Ogle County Fair continues through Sunday at the fairgrounds a mile west of Oregon along North Limekiln Road just off Illinois Route 64. The evening grandstand schedule has a tractor pull on Thursday, Big Hat Rodeo on Friday, and a demolition derby on Saturday. The first appearance of the Tri-County Pullers and their mini-rod tractors will be 1 pm on Sunday. Ground shows include the aerial acrobatics of the Pirates of the Columbian Caribbean and the Wolves of the World featuring wolves rescued from around the globe. There are also magic shows, chainsaw artist Dave Ferrell and the strolling Ta-Da Robotics. The carnival starts at 5 pm Thursday, 3 pm Friday, noon Saturday and 11 am Sunday; the fair’s $8 admission fee includes not only ground shows and exhibits but also unlimited carnival rides. Fair entry is free for children age 3 and younger, but carnival rides will require a $4 wristband at the gate. There will be live music at 7 pm at the Lions Shelter, with Burn N’ Bush on Thursday, First Friday Open Mic on Friday and Chip Messiner on Saturday. The Exhibit Building will have an open show of exhibits. Last but far from least, prepare to tuck in that napkin for the Ogle County Pork Producers dinner 5 to 7 pm Saturday.
2 Supporting agribusiness students. The 37th Steak Fry in the Country will be 5 pm Thursday at Ted Jacobs Farm in Rock Falls. Tickets are $25 and available from the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, 211 Locust St., Sterling. This annual event allows the agribusiness community to gather and celebrate Ag in the Sauk Valley while raising money for ag-related scholarships, Ag in the Classroom and Whiteside County 4-H Program. This event is open to the public. More information at www.saukvalleyareachamber.com/events.
3 Tasty treats and tunes. Last chance to enjoy the offerings of live music at food, 6 to 8 pm Thursday during Jammin’ On the Rock at RB&W Park in Rock Falls. Artists who will be performing will include David Cuckler, Tara Norris, Starlight Blues Band, Weigh Me Down Band, and Eric Whitlock. Food will be provided by Brito’s Grill and Shelby Rae’s.
4 Speed and spray. Stock outboard racing returns for the Rock Falls River Chase based at Sewards Park. Boats that run from 35 mph to 80 mph compete in different classes in events run by the Marine Racing Club of Illinois and the American Power Boat Association. The organizers will conduct a racing school and visitors can watch free testing on Friday. The races begin at 10:30 am Saturday and Sunday.
5 Dogs and pop, yum. What’s better than a hot dog on a summer day? Sterling Main Street is selling grilled hot dogs for a quarter — and chips and drinks — at eight sites from 11 am to 2 pm Friday. There will also be sidewalk sales, a car wash and a fun fair. Look for your dogs at Air Play Espresso and Bakery and Country Market on Third Street; Golden Key Gifts and Center for Youth Building along Fourth Street; Grummert’s Hardware and Bardier & Ramirez Real Estate on Locust Street, Build-A-Pet Clubhouse and Midland States Bank on First Avenue; and Sterling Police Department on Third Avenue.
Do you have information on an upcoming event or attraction? Be sure to let us know about it. Please submit information for Sauk Valley Media’s weekly calendars to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a contact person and phone number.