Fair-goers walk through the midway Saturday evening at last year's Rock County 4-H Fair in Janesville. 


The Rock County 4-H Fair will open its gates Tuesday for another year of animal judging, carnival rides, music and other assorted entertainment.

Here are five things you should know:

1. Weather: This week, we’ve had temperatures ranging from blast furnace to outer gates of hell. Temperatures next week are forecast to be in the low 80s, according to the National Weather Service—relatively pleasant by comparison.

Not to get too punny, here, but the only heat wave you might experience next week will be the performances by the 4-H show choir, Heatwave. The group takes the Food Fair Stage at 11 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

2. Old fairgoers, new tricks: This year’s fair will include entertainment from the Cincinnati Circus.

Circus performers will set up near the Blackhawk Building and showcase their skills in juggling, hula-hooping, dancing, balancing objects, chair stacking and other circus skills not transferable to the average workplace.

From Tuesday through Saturday, shows will start at 12:30 p.m. near the Clover Corner and at 6:30 p.m. near the fair’s museum. On Sunday, shows will be at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. near the Clover Corner.


3. Don’t try these bike shows at home: Another new feature this year is the daily Division BMX show, which describes itself as “high-flying and death-defying.”

That means all the kids in the audience will want to go home and build a ramp that will take them over—or at least onto—the garage roof.

Don’t worry, parents, they’ll be wearing helmets.

Bike shows are at noon and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday near Gate 3. On Sunday, a 10:30 a.m. show will be held at Gate 3 and a much bigger show will start at 4 p.m. in front of the grandstand.

4. Ride deals (Dramamine costs extra): If carnival rides are your thing, you’ll want to plan your fair visit to get the best deals.

Your best bet might be Friday, when the fair and carnival folks offer a special $20 gate ticket and ride wristband deal.

The carnival and midway open every day at noon, with the exception of Tuesday, when they open at 2 p.m.

Other carnival ride deals include $2 per person per ride Tuesday, $27 wristbands Wednesday and Thursday, and $25 wristbands Sunday.

5. See a concert for cheap: The Rock County 4-H Fair is one of the few times you can see a national music act for $10. That’s the fee to get into the gates.

This year’s lineup is heavy on country music, featuring Michael Ray on Wednesday, Russell Dickerson on Thursday, Pure Prairie League and Firefall (a 1970s rock band) on Friday, and Joe Nichols on Saturday. All shows start at 8 p.m.

For full fair coverage, including a daily schedule, go to GazetteXtra.com/fair.