2018 Linn County Fair Little Mr. and Miss Candidates

The Linn County Fair Association is proud to announce the 2018 Linn County Fair Little Mr. and Miss Candidates:


Makaila Arnold

Makaila is the daughter of Lori Osterkamp and Doug Arnold. Her favorite thing about The Linn County fair is hanging out and playing with her friends. When she grows up she wants to be a dancer or basketball player. Makaila is a good friend because she chooses to be kind.

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Sophia Arnold

Sophia is the daughter of Lori Osterkamp and Doug Arnold. Her favorite thing about The Linn County Fair is the animals. She really enjoys petting them and looking at all the different kinds. Sophia is a good friend because she helps people when they need help. She wants to be a worker at The Linn County Fair when she grows up.

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Brynn Bowman

Brynn is the daughter of Jarod and Leann Bowman. Brynn’s favorite thing about The Linn County Fair is helping in the petting zoo and helping her mom set things up. She also enjoys showing the goats. Brynn is a good friend because she plays with anyone and likes to share. She aspires to be a vet or teacher when she grows up.

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Layla Breitbach

Layla is the daughter of Eric and Jenn Breitbach. Her favorite thing about The Linn County Fair is the horse and pony show because she loves horses and ponies. Layla would like to be a pet shelter volunteer and an equestrian when she grows up. She also makes a good friend because she is honest, kind, and fair.

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Aria Unash

Aria is the daughter of Jay and Jennifer Unash. Aria’s favorite thing about The Linn County Fair is showing baby goats because her big brother also does. She makes a good friend because she is helpful and nice to everybody. When she grows up she would like to be a Linn County Fair teacher that educates little kids on how to show goats.

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Otto Steffen

Otto is the son of Heidi and Chad Steffen. Otto’s favorite thing about The Linn County Fair is showing sheep because he enjoys showing with his brother. When he grows up he wants to be an army fire fighter. Otto is a good friend because he plays with everyone.

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The Crowning

The reigning 2017 Little Mr. and Miss Linn County will be handing off their titles at The 2018 Linn County Fair during the opening night of the fair, June 27th.

The 2017 Little Miss Linn County Fair is Ava Hoover. Ava is the daughter of Matthew and Emily Hoover. She loves showing at the Little Shepard Show during The Linn County Fair because it is fun and exciting. When Ava grows up she wants to be a babysitter and a baker. She is a good friend because she cheers up her friends when they’re sad.

The 2017 Little Mr. Linn County Fair is Brayden Beauregard. Brayden is the son of Scott and Tracy Beauregard. Brayden’s favorite things about The Linn County Fair are the tractor pull and the Little Shepard Show as it gives him a chance to show before becoming a 4-Her. When he grows up he wants to be a farmer for Blackford farms. Brayden is a good friend because he is caring and respectful of others.


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2018 Linn County Fair Queen Candidates

The Linn County Fair Association is proud to announce the 2018 Linn County Fair Queen candidates:

Riley Blackford is the daughter of Dawn and the late Scott Blackford of Alburnett.  Riley will be a senior at Alburnett this fall. She plans to attend a four year university while studying nursing and playing soccer.

Riley Blackford

Alexa Gromley is the daughter of Paul and Trudy Gromley of Marion.  Alexa will be a freshman at Iowa State University this fall.  She will be studing biology with the hopes of pre-vet track.

Alexa Gormley

Mirannda Schneider-Kettelkamp is the daughter of Robert and Cindy Kettelkamp of Marion.  Mirannda will a freshman at Kirkwood this fall where she will get her RN, and transfer to Allen College to get her BSN.

Mirannda Schneider-Kettelkamp

Delaney Sturtz is the daughter of Michelle Tegeier, Greg Hutchinson and Mike Sturtz of Cedar Rapids.  Delaney will be attending Kirkwood this fall getting her degree in Ag business and Ag production.

Delaney Sturtz

Mackenzie Yoder is the daughter of Josh and Wendy Yoder of Central City.  Mackenzie will be a senior at Central City High School.  Mackenzie’s future plans are to attend Kirkwood for vet technician and then continue to Iowa State University to pursue veterinarian school.

Mackenzie Yoder

The reigning 2017 Linn County Fair Queen, Alexis Costello and Princess, Kiera Dixon will be handing off their titles at The 2018 Linn County Fair during the opening ceremonies on June 27th at 6:00pm and crowning the newest of the Linn County Fair royalty.

The 2017 Linn County Fair Queen Alexis Costello is the daughter of Tim and Karen Costello of Cedar Rapids.  Alexis is attending Mt. Mercy University studying human resource management and criminal justice.  She will be graduating in the spring of 2019.

The 2017 Linn County Fair Princess Kiera Dixon is the daughter of Michael and Karen Dixon of Walker.  Kiera is a student at Central College where she is studying social sciences with and endorsement in secondary education.

Committee Chair, Jennifer Dunn was excited about this year’s group of ladies and looks forward to hear who our judges have selected for the 2018 Linn County Fair Queen and Princess.  “With this competition we are able to meet some of the most influential young ladies in our county!  We also help build these ladies resumes and interviewing skills that they can hopefully use in their future” says Jennifer Dunn.

The current committee is Kris Blackford, Susan Clarke, Kathy Clemens, Jean Dunn, Molly Hogan and Jennifer Dunn.

The judging for the contest was on June 3rd at the Linn County Fairgrounds in the Lynn Dunn Memorial Building.

The coronation will be Wednesday June 27th at 6 p.m. at the Linn County Fairgrounds, in the grandstand.

For more details about the fair’s website at:  www.thelinncountyfair.com

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Youth Day at The Linn County Fair – June 28th

The Linn County Fair Association along with Community Savings Bank and KDAT 1o4.5 presents “YOUTH DAY” at The Linn County Fair on THURSDAY, June 28th at the fairgrounds in Central City. There will be many FREE events and activities for kids of all ages, including educational booths, FREE train rides, FREE face painting, Cock-a-doodle Zoo, FREE book giveaway, the Farm Credit Services Ag Educational Zone, and more.

Free Face Painting Youth Day

FREE Face Painting

There will be several items on display including the Central City Fire Truck, Center Point Ambulance, Linn County Sheriff Department & McGruff the Crime Dog, St. Luke’s Helicopter, TSR Performance Monster Trucks, science exhibits, entertainment on the Farm Bureau Free Entertainment stage and more.

Youth Day 2014

Youth Day 2014

Several of the free demonstrations and shows we have scheduled to date include:

  • Face Painting 9am to 5pm
  • Train Rides 9am to 1pm ($1 per ride 1pm to 3pm)
  • Bouncy House 9am to 1pm
  • Hands on activities in the LDM Building – 9am to 1pm
  • Science hands on activities – 9am to 4pm
  • “Make & Take” Seed Projects – Ag Educational Tent – 9am to
  • Mega Truck Freestyle Mania meet & greet 9am – 2pm, more details below
  • Center Point Tae Kwan Do Demonstrations at   9:30 am
  • Magic Show   at 11:00 am
  • Big Bear Puppet Show at 12:00 pm
  • Big Bear Puppet Show at 2pm
  • The Eastern Iowa Arts Academy Rock Bands – 4pm

Free animals shows and demonstrations:

  • Cock-a-doodle Zoo – 9am to 9pm
  • 4-H Rabbit Showmanship Test – 9am
  • Kiddie Kalf Show 9:30 am
  • 4-H Rabbit & Cavy Show- 10am
  • Llama Demonstrations- 1pm
  • 4-H Cavy Loudest Wheeker and Quickest Dropper Contest- 2pm
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St. Luke’s Helicopter

Free Contest:

  • Duck Races (rubber ducks) – 8am to 6pm
  • Youth Stroller Races- registration at 10am, contest at 11am
  • Cookie Stacking – registrations at Noon, contest at 1pm
  • Bale Stacking – registrations at 2pm, contest at 3pm

Free Mega Truck Freestyle Mania meet and greet on the track as part of Youth Day starting at 9am. Kids of all ages will be able to meet the drivers and check out trucks that will be performing that night in the grandstand as part the Mega Truck Freestyle Mania. The first 500 kids to the meet and greet will receive a free ticket to that night’s Mega Truck Freestyle Mania grandstand event at 7pm.

Monster Truck

Mega Truck Freestyle Mania

Majority of the Youth Day events will take place from 9am to 4pm, with some exhibits and free activities only available from 9am to 1pm. The carnival will open at 11 am with a Youth Day special of 1 ticket per ride from 11am to 1pm. Wristband times will be from 2 pm to 6 pm, that allows you to ride all the rides you want during that time.

train Youth Day

FREE Train Rides 9am to 1pm

Check out our website for more details and updates to the schedule as it becomes available by going to https://thelinncountyfair.com/fair-week/.

Reminder to make sure that children wash their hands after leaving a livestock area and/or after touching an animal. There are several hand washing stations throughout the livestock area. It is even more important that they wash their hands before eating, even if they haven’t been in the animal area.

Feel free to bring your own lunch for the kids to have a picnic at the fair. There will be a hospitality tent near the grandstand that will have some picnic tables in it. There will also be picnic tables in the food vendor area and spread around on the fairgrounds. There are also some great places on the hill under the shade that many use to enjoy a picnic.

If you are bringing a large group of kids, please email us at info@thelinncountyfair.com so we can let our gate attendance know. You will be able to drop the kids off at the front gate and then our gate attendance will direct you where you can park your vehicle.

We are looking forward to having your group at the 2018 Linn County Fair Youth Day!

The Linn County Fair’s 130th Anniversary- “There is No Place Like the FAIR!”

June 27th to July 2nd, 2018


Follow us on Social Media

Facebook: @thelinncountyfair   @linncountyfairgrounds ; Twitter: @linncountyfair ;

Instagram: @linncofair #tlcf #noplacelikethefair #130anniversary #thelinncountyfair

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2018 Quilt Block Challenge

It’s that time again to get your creative minds and sewing machines ready for the Linn County Fair Quilt Block Challenge. Pre-civil war reproduction fabrics have been chosen to commemorate the 130th anniversary of The Linn County Fair. The kits are now available for $5 and can be picked up at Connie’s Quilt shop in Marion or by contacting Kris Blackford or Jean Dunn.


Updated 2018 Quilt Block Challenge Fabric

Blocks will be on display at the 2018 Linn County Fair June 27th thru July 2nd. The blocks will be judged for the Viewer’s Choice that will receive a $25 gift certificate from Connie’s Quilt Shop. Later the blocks will be made into a quilt to be raffled off at the following year’s fair. All proceeds will go towards improvements of The Linn County Fair.

  • Contest limited to 50 participants. Open to all Iowa residents.
  • Contestant will pay $5.00 per kit. One kit per exhibitor.
  • Exhibitor may use all fabrics that are included in the kit. Do not add fabrics.
  • Appliquéing is allowed. Quilting is now allowed. Machine or hand embroidery is not allowed.
  • Paper piecing is allowed but must take off the backing yourself before entering your block.
  • Exhibitor may use an established pattern or create an original block, the block size must be 9 ½” by 9 ½”, will finish to 9″ x 9″.
  • Blocks entered become property of The Linn County Fair Association. Blocks to be made into a quilt and raffled off the following year with the proceeds going for improvements of The Linn County Fair. Extra blocks received may be made into a small wall hanging, shams or pillows.
  • A $25 gift certificate to Connie’s Quilt Shop will be awarded for Viewers Choice.


  1. Take your fabrics and copy them off on your printer, lay them out on a graphic design.
  2. Use scrap fabrics to make your block 1st before cutting into your kit fabric.

Stop by Connie’s Quilt Shop in Marion to pick up the quilt blocks or by contacting Kris Blackford at 319-721-9136, Jean Dunn at 319-721-6524 or emailing blackfords@thelinncountyfair.com. The finished block must be dropped off at Connie’s Quilt Shop, to Kris Blackford or Jean Dunn no later than Monday, May 7, 2018.

Stay tuned for your opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket for your chance to win the 2017 Quilt Block Challenge finished quilt. Drawing will be held during the 2018 Linn County Fair, need not be present to win. Raffle tickets will be for sale for $1 per tickets.

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Storm Doesn’t Affect 2017 Linn County Fair- Attendance Highs

Mother Nature created a little havoc at the start of the 2017 Linn County Fair, but it didn’t stop the volunteers and fair-goers from having a record breaking fair. The numbers have finally been tallied and verified, this year will be one that will go down in the history books for many reasons, most of all for being a place that many “Family Traditions” begin for the summer!

Funnel clouds, minutes after they pass over the Linn County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, June 28th. Photo provided by Heidi Steffen

A storm that produced a funnel cloud over the Linn County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, June 28th during the evening opening program of the fair, knocked down a large tree, blew over small and large tents, damaged the old “Presentation Building”, and knocked out the fair’s internet service (which is still not completely up and running). With the help and support of the many volunteers the Fair Linn County Association was able to get everything cleaned up and have things ready to go by 9am on Thursday morning for the typical 3rd largest day of the fair, Youth Day. 


A large tree down by the beef arena due to Wednesday evening storm-  Photo provided by G.G. Photography

Due to the storm Wednesday evening of the fair the Mutton Bustin’ grandstand event was cancelled that night and the over all attendance for Wednesday was down 35% from the previous year.  


The LDM Building filled with Youth Day hands on activities and informational booths.

The storm didn’t stop people from coming out to the fair on Thursday, Youth Day. Youth Day is an opportunity for youth of all ages to come to the fair and enjoy the many free events and activities that are on hand. On Youth Day they get to experience a local county fair like no other.  The majority of the free activities run from 9am to 1pm, which we had a record of over 6,200 people coming through our gates to enjoy the activities. Thursday overall was also a record breaking day with a total day attendance over 14,500 people, the most on record for a Thursday of the fair.


2017 Sperry Engines Hill-N-Hole Mud Racing – Photo provided by G.G. Photography

The momentum from Thursday continued into Friday, also breaking a record attendance with over 8,600 in attendance. The Friday grandstand event, Professional Bull Riding followed by Bellamy Brothers in concert, ended up being the second largest crowd we had for a concert at The Linn County Fair over the past 10 years, second only to the John Michael Montgomery concert held 2014 at the fair. 


Rice Bull Riding Co. introducing Bull Riders- photo provide by G.G. Photography


Bellamy Brothers performing in concert – photo provide by G.G. Photography

Saturday of the fair continued to bring in the fair-goers and break records. Saturday afternoon we held a new grandstand event, Classic Linn County Truck & Tractor Pull. This Saturday afternoon event was the second largest crowd for a Saturday afternoon grandstand event. That night was another record crowd with the annual ECIPA Truck & Tractor Pull at the fair. The pull that night brought in over 2,600, breaking the record the same event had set back in 2015. Saturday was a huge day and ended with a bang! The fair broke another one day overall attendance record on Saturday with over 13,200 people, beating the previous record set in 2015. 


Classic Linn County Truck & Tractor Pull – photo provided by Heidi Steffen


ECIPA Truck & Tractor Pull – photo provided by Heidi Steffen

Sunday afternoon of the fair has become to be known as a fun family event in the grandstand. This year was no different and brought the families to prove it. We had the Lil’ Monster Trucks back for a second year and had 75% more in attendance for the same event then we did last year. The crowd also, ended up being the second largest crowd for that time slot, just second to rodeo held in 2012. 


Lil’ Monster Trucks – photo provided by Heidi Steffen

One event that is becoming a family tradition at the fair continues to bring the families for a fun Sunday evening grandstand event is the Chuckwagon Races. This year the event had a record breaking attendance of over 1,700, breaking a record that the event had set in 2009 when the event was introduced back at The Linn County Fair from being absent for many years. 


Chuckwagon Races – photo provided by Heidi Steffen

Sunday was also Military Appreciation Day. All Military personnel current and past got into one or both of the grandstand events. We saw the number of military personnel increased by 150% from the previous year that came out and enjoyed one or both of the grandstand events. Overall, Sunday was another record breaking day. It broke an overall attendance record for that day with close to 10,000 attending the fair. The previous record was set in 2011.

Mother Nature tried to keep down The Linn County Fair, but the supporters of the fair made sure that wasn’t the case. We saw more faces and more people outside of Linn County attending the fair (4% more than previous years). The overall attendance this year was up 40% from last year and set a new record for Fair.  The Linn County Fair has come along way in 10 years and has seen a 212% growth in that time span from 16,000 people in attendance in 2008 to this year’s fair over 50,000 attendance. 


2017 Linn County Fair’s banner did not survive the storm. Here is a picture of it the night before the fair kicked off. Photo provided by Joshua Rich

Special thanks to the many volunteers that helped make the 2017 Linn County Fair another successful fair! Many thanks for the continuous support and dedication of our many Community Partners and the Linn County Supervisors, without their support The Linn County Fair Association couldn’t continue to provide a free fair and provide a great local county fair for Linn County and surrounding communities. Many families started a new “Family Tradition”, while others continued to create great memories with their family at the 2017 Linn County Fair in Central City! 

To take a look back at The 2017 Linn County Fair and check out the many pictures for the week’s events by going to https://www.flickr.com/photos/thelinncountyfair/collections/72157683138939803/ See you back at the fair June 27 to July 2nd, 2018! 

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2017 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction

Every year many 4-H and FFA members look forward to showing their livestock at The Linn County Fair in Central City. Some then sell their prized animal in the Livestock Auction at the end of the fair that was held on Monday, July 3, 2017. The proceeds from the livestock auction goes directly to the 4-H or FFA member. Many save up this money and put it towards college. Others use it to continue raising their other livestock at home and some members pay it forward and donate their auction checks to project dear to their heart.

A project dear to many hearts this year was “Denny’s Dream”, the memorial fund in honor of Denny Booth to build a new Youth Council Food Booth on the Linn County Fairgrounds.* This year after the auction was over Farmers State Bank put up a hog that they had privately purchased from a 4-Her to be auction off with all proceeds being donated to “Denny’s Dream”.  The total proceeds of the donation for the hog was $8,700, this does not include the pledge for the concrete work (donated by Louie & Deb Zumbach) and the excavating work and utilities (donated by Rathje Construction). 

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The hog being auction off to help support “Denny’s Dream” during the 2017 Linn County Fair Livestock Auction held on Monday, July 3rd.

In Kind Donations for “Denny’s Dream” Hog
Farmers State Bank
RJ Construction
Bodensteiner Equipment
Linn Co-op Oil
Makenna & Hadley Dunn
Community Savings Bank
Betenbender Cattle
In Memory of Scott Blackford
Darrell & Mary Rose Elliot
Grass Carpet Lawn Service
Martin Family Farm
Carrothers Family Farms
Airy Farms
Hatch Family Farms
Whitham Family
Shulista Farms
Waltz n Meadows Boer Goats
Washington Busy Beavers 4-H Club
Linn County Corn & Soybean Growers
Thuerauf Farms
Burns Farms
Lois & Loyd Martin
Prairie Union Wildcats 4-H Club
David & Valerie Roll
Dennis Uthof
Alburnett FFA Chapter
Mycogen Seeds/Stephen Martin
Morris Family/Muddy Bottom Farms
Nissen Family Farms
Cletis Sloan on behalf of her Grandchildren
Mark Hoffman of Edward Jones
Integrity Builders/Bret Shulista
East Central Iowa Two Cylinder Club/Don Hatch
Troy Louwagie
Kirk Weih

This year The Linn County Fair Livestock Auction consisted of 109 head that ran thru the auction including 40 cattle, 23 sheep, 1 goats, and 45 swine.

The Linn County Fair Association helps put on the auction every year and with the help of Farmer State Bank clerking this event it is a successful event every year. Special thanks to this year’s auctioneers John Airy and Louis Zumbach. The auction brought in several new buyers this year and many long time buyers. Special thanks to the many supporters of the Linn County Fair 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction:

F & M BANK Manchester
FARMERS STATE BANK Marion, Alburnett, Hiawatha, Cedar Rapids
HILLS BANK & TRUST Mt. Vernon, Marion, Cedar Rapids
HY VEE Marion
LINN COOP OIL COMPANY Alburnett, Marion, Springville
MARTIN FAMILY FARMS-Steve & Karen Martin/Albert & Vicki Martin Family Springville
THEISEN’S Cedar Rapids

* “Denny’s Dream”

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The Linn County 4-H Youth Council thanking the audience for their support of “Denny’s Dream”.

In May of 2016, Denny Booth, a long time 4-H volunteer and Youth Council Advisor on the club & county level, unexpectedly passed away.  His dream was to build a bigger & better food stand with amenities such as hot & cold running water and covered seating on the side.  The 4-H Youth Council has have had their current food booth since 1992 and have since outgrown it.  This food booth is the  4-H Youth Council’s biggest source of funding for the many activities they offer & support throughout the year.  It is VITAL for their operation.

Youth Council’s goal…
Denny’s Dream started with a design drawn on a napkin after the 2013 fair was relocated to the Delaware County Fairgrounds.  Denny liked the food stand facility there and started thinking about how the Linn County’s 4-H Youth Council could replace the building on the fairgrounds.  Each year, there are concerns with the health department codes.

Amenities they hope to have:

  • *hot & cold running water
  • *covered seating area
  • *more prep space & storage space
  • *correct food service equipment
Importance of the food booth:

Not only does the 4-H Youth Council Food Booth provide a convenient location for food & drink during the fair, it also teaches members workplace skills such as money handling, food prep, ordering supplies, customer service, etc.

Earnings from the food stand are the 4-H Youth Council’s operating funds (and their largest fundraiser) for the many events & community service projects during the year.  An annual budget is set based off the previous year’s income.

Their annual Pie Auction proceeds are solely used yearly to provide various scholarships to Linn County 4-H Youth.

Denny’s Dream is a completely separate campaign. 4-H Youth Council recently started a new account with funds raised by helping the Linn County Master Gardeners at their Plant Sale.  This “seed money” along with donor pledges is helping them to get started!

“Denny was passionate for 4-H, a hard worker for 4-H & always made sure we had the best experience.”—Grace, Class of 2018

“I don’t know how to explain him—a great mentor & friend. He taught me how to put a metal roof on the Council Booth.”—CJ, Class of 2017

“A great man who taught me many things.  He was wise, kind & intelligent.” –Kiera, Class of 2017

“I did not know Denny for long. He was fun, inspirational, & hard working. He was someone who I looked up to & was inspired by his love for 4-H’ers & 4’H.”—Tracie, Class of 2019

Denny inspired me through other people because he influenced them to join 4-H which then inspired me to join 4-H.”—Kayla, Class of 2020

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2017 “Friend of the Fair” Award

Every year The Linn County Fair Association has a “Friend of the Fair”. This year the Association has chosen the Linn County Cattlemen for their hard work and support of The Linn County Fair. The award was presented during the 4-H/FFA Beef Show Saturday, July 1st.

The Cattlemen have grilled the burgers for the Fairboard Cookout rain or shine for many years.  Many times they have contributed money for improvements around the livestock areas and even volunteered labor to help save cost on projects.

In 2017 the Linn County Fair Association felt that the Linn County Cattlemen were a perfect example of a Friend of the Fair. Thanks again to the Linn County Cattlemen for all the hard work, time and support they provide to The Linn County Fair and youth!


Linn County Cattlemen L to R: Neal Horning, Dennis Uthoff, Harold Wilson, Mike Rosauer, and Jason Fagel; Albert Martin- Fair Board President

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