|Stingrays at fair|
Joseph Culver with the Sealife Encounters of America exhibit will be one of the many new additions to this year's Yuma County Fair.
|Fair food raises funds|
While you partake of your favorite fair food fare, you're also benefiting non-profit and charity organizations in Yuma county - Will Roller spoke to one of them.
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Check out what's waiting for you at the fair!
The Yuma County Fair provides treats as diverse as the region, with an added bonus: Much of the money made by the food vendors stays in Yuma County.
This is no place for a diet, noted Kelly Watkins, fair manager. Although they bring in a few professional vendors, they make certain they do not conflict with the menu items of their nonprofits, he said.
"We're pretty unique because most fairs have just commercial sellers and not many service clubs. But the clubs keep everything in the community. That's why we have the community support we do. It's one of our big pluses, just like our schools that let out the kids for the week."
Perennial favorite Kammann sausage served at the Yuma Rotary Club booth has been around since Walter Kammann shared his Wisconsin homestyle recipe 50 years ago.
Grandson Jeff maintains tradition with sausages on a stick for $2.50. A tri-tip beef combo plate is $7.
Rotary supports the Teacher of the Year, students of the month and college scholarships with its proceeds.
Jeff remembers his grandfather working hard at the booth, saying "I consider it a real honor to follow in his footsteps."
Judy Newman, fair visitor, was enjoying a tri-tip sandwich, which she said was awesome. But she also praised Rotary's menu because her granddaughter, who is autistic and on a restricted diet, can enjoy their items, especially sausage on a stick. "It's her 'bomb' and she loves it," Newman said.
Fair attendees will also want to sink their teeth into the Shriners Club Kansas City-style barbecue ribs, said Dale Krieger.
"They're really meaty ribs and a good deal for $7. This is one of our biggest fundraisers and benefits our 22 Shriner Hospitals for Children all over North America."
Knights of Columbus anticipates a big turnout this year as they are the only nonprofit who accepts credit cards, said Leroy Zacher. Cards accepted are Master Card, VISA and Discover.
The Knights are trying something new: a blooming onion, Zacher noted.
"We're excited. It's deep-fried and has a dipping sauce."
The Knights support weekly spaghetti dinners at the American Legion Post 56. They also provide two $500 scholarships for students wanting to attend college and two $500 scholarships for students entering Yuma Catholic High School.
Visitors also love the Elks' chicken dinner — three pieces for $5, said Stu Johnson. And to wash it down, there is a Rock Star energy drink for $2.50, he said.
"The Elks are all about kids and veterans and that's where all our money goes." They support education projects as well as veterans, Johnson noted.
At the 4-H Club booth, they like to keep it simple with pizza slices for $2. They also have nachos, said Shannon Price. And they boast the cheapest sodas, "by far the best price you can get out here, 50 cents for a small."
The 4-H Club provides $10,000 in yearly scholarships ranging from $250 to $1,000.
From the Sunrise Optimist Club, visitors can have a five different combo plates of rolled or folded tacos with beans and rice for $8.75, said John McKinley.
"Every year we give three $250 scholarships for AWC, renewable for four semesters. And we gave $6,000 to District 1 for their track program this year."
The pork tenderloin is a specialty of the American Legion but the catfish dinner, both $6, "is what we're really known for," said Terry Green, senior vice commander of Post 19. They typically provide all high schools with yearly scholarships between $500 and $1,000.
Big sellers at the Jaycees are shrimp or tri-tip combo plates that include salad, chili, beans and a tortilla, said Robert Olague.
"But we're also known for our root beer floats. Everybody loves those things. It's kind of like the A&W style."
The Jaycees contribute to American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, Amberly's Place and the Salvation Army.
Fair visitors Evangeline Rodriguez and Olga Medina, enjoying beef tacos at the Optimist booth, said they thought the food was great. But what they especially appreciated was how thoughtful the Optimists were. When Olga spilled her soda, they gave her a free refill.
Of course, what meal would be complete without topping off with something sweet.
Kevin Kitteredge runs Frozen Yogurt serving vanilla and chocolate. Kitteredge provides a $500 scholarship for a college student, and on Thursday is offering free sodas for Special People's Day when the disabled can get some special time at the fair, he noted.
William Roller can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858.
THE YUMA COUNTY FAIR
Admission to the fair:
• Wednesday - Sunday ($5 adults, $3 children 6-12)
• Children age 5 and under free
• Wednesday through Sunday - 8 a.m.
Buildings and carnival open:
• Wednesday through Friday - Noon
• Saturday - 10 a.m.
• Sunday - Noon
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS WEDNESDAY - MARCH 31
8 a.m. — Judge Market Swine & Pen of 3 - (Ring 1); Judge Poultry & Pigeons, followed by Poultry & Pigeon Showmanship - (Poultry Bldg); Judge Market Lamb & Pen of 3 - (Ring 2)
Noon — Exhibit buildings & carnival open
12:30 p.m. — Bean Spitting Contest - Sporty The Clown (Guido's Stage)
1 p.m. — Judge Market Veal & Pen of 3 (Ring 2)
1:30 p.m. — Mother Goose - Agri Magic (Guido's Stage)
2 p.m. — Discovering Science Show (Theatre Bldg.)
2:30 p.m. — Quiz Whiz Game Show (Guido's Stage)
3 p.m. — Weird Science - The Rocking 80's (Main Stage); Judge Production Steer, followed by Market Beef & Pen of 3 - (Ring 1)
3:30 p.m. — Jeff Martin - Magician (Guido's Stage)
4 p.m. — Discovering Science Show (Theatre Bldg); Make & Take It For Fun - (4-H Bldg.)
4:30 p.m. — Tyzen - Hypnotist (Main Stage); The Procrastinators - Urban Percussion (Guido's Stage)
5 p.m. — Budweiser's Clydesdales (Midway); Bubble Gum Contest - Sporty The Clown (Guido's Stage)
6 p.m. — Evaro's - Hispanic & Rock & Roll (Main Stage); Discovering Science Show (Theatre Bldg); Jeff Martin - Magician (Guido's Stage)
7 p.m. — Demolition Derby - Sponsored by Zeller's (Grandstands); Selection of Overall Grand Champion Market Lamb, Swine, Veal, Goat, Beef, and Production Steer - (Ring 1); Quiz Whiz Game Show - (Guido's Stage)
7:30 p.m. — Weird Science - The Rocking 80's (Main Stage)
8 p.m. — The Procrastinators - Urban Percussion (Guido's Stage); Discovering Science Show - (Theatre Bldg)
8:30 p.m. — Jeff Martin - Magician (Guido's Stage)
9 p.m. — Evaro's - Hispanic & Rock & Roll (Main Stage)
10 p.m. — Tyzen - Hypnotist (Main Stage)