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Ellie Nelson, 9, left, and Lucy Sarna, 10, compete in the pickle-eating contest at the Walworth County Fair in 2018.

ELKHORN

The Walworth County Fair opens its 170th season Wednesday with the usual favorites—animals, exhibits, a demolition derby, truck and tractor pulls—and some new twists.

The fairgrounds, located at 411 E. Court St., are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day through Monday, Sept. 2.

Here are five things you should know before you go.

1. Weather: Mother Nature should not be a problem, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasts at this point call for plenty of sun and temperatures in the mid-70s.

No rain is expected over Labor Day weekend.

2. Big names, big crowds: Fairgrounds Manager Larry Gaffey expects sellout crowds just for the entertainment.

Gaffey said the fair has stepped up its entertainment game this year, bringing in multiple acts to the free Park Stage, including Yves Francois Jazz, Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Three tribute band, Steve Meisner Polka Band and The Britins, a popular Beatles tribute band.

As far as grandstand entertainment, the Newsboys are back after being rained out of their sellout show last year. The award-winning Australian Christian rock band has employed two lead singers over the years, and both will perform with the band Sunday.

Saturday’s band is Home Free, an a cappella group of five male vocalists who do about 200 shows a year.

3. Baby racing: Contests are where it’s at this year, and the fair offers a themed contest every day. Opening day features a “fair wear” contest, and hats, superheroes, nifty ‘50s, groovy ‘70s, beards and mustaches, and nails all take their turns on subsequent days.

A new event of note is the Diaper Derby and Toddler Trot, which pits baby against baby in a race to the finish line. Babies who win get ribbons, and every competitor is entered in a drawing for a new playset.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday on the Kiddieland Stage, and races begin at 11 a.m.

4. Admission remains same: Admission for this year’s fair is the same: $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 5-12.

Children ages 4 and younger get in free, and seniors can get a sweet deal of $8 admission Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Parking is free, but a VIP spot can be purchased for $50. The fair also has discount packages on wristbands and passes.

5. Exhibits for everyone: The fair has more than 14,000 entries in various competitions and exhibits.

From cows to jars of pickles to quilts, lots of talent will be on display from the fair’s opening day to its last hour.

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