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September 21, 2019

8/30/2019 11:20:00 AM
Tommie Loken reigns as 2019 Iowa County Fairest of the Fair
Fair goers will have the opportunity to meet Mineral Point native Tommie Loken, who reigns as the 2019 Iowa County Fairest of the Fair.
Loken is a 2017 graduate of Mineral Point High School and will be a junior this fall at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Agricultural Education. While on campus she has been involved with the professional Sigma Alpha Agricultural Sorority.
Her passion for animal agriculture stems back home where she currently has a small herd of crossbred beef cattle.
What she enjoyed most about the fair changed as she got older.
"When I was younger, my favorite things about the fair were the rides and the typical little kid stuff," Loken said. "But then as I got into high school, I really enjoyed the livestock and getting involved in the competitions. I became a little bit more competitive as I got a little older. And I really just liked the community being brought together-all the farm kids being in the country, you don't always get to spend time together because you're so far apart. I really like that it brought us all together, kind of in one place doing what we like to do."
There were many requirements for the consideration as Fairest of the Fair. According to the Iowa County Fair website "the role as the Iowa County Fairest of the Fair is to promote the Iowa County Fair leading up to the fair and to be the official host(ess) of the Fair over Labor Day Weekend."
The Fairest of the Fair is a one year position, and a candidate can only have it once. The process began when she submitted an application. In order to be the Fairest of the Fair one must be at least 18 years of age, and be active with the county fair. She was selected last May, a year before her reign began. She was seen at last year's county fair alongside Laura Gray, the 2018 Fairest of the Fair learning what her responsibilities would be during her reign. She was crowned as the Fairest during the Open Dairy Show held on Monday.
Throughout this year, the Iowa County Fairest of the Fair has been seen at county parades. Loken was seen this year driving a classic John Deere Green tractor at the Fourth of July Parade in Mineral Point, and the Farmer's Appreciation Day parade in downtown Dodgeville. Although she didn't drive a tractor, she was at the Cobb Corn Roast parade that was held earlier this month.
She has also created many radio spots with radio stations in the area, and has made many appearances at other county events to further promote the fair. She was also at the Iowa County Dairy Breakfast held at the fairgrounds in June, and at the Iowa County Cattlemen's Steak Dinner held at the Levetzow family farm in Dodgeville.
Carolyn Butteris has been the committee chair for the Iowa County Fairest of the Fair for many years, and the selection for this year's fairest was quite easy.
She says it was, "her love and interest in agriculture, along with the love she shows towards her animals and the love of fair" that sealed the deal in selecting her.
"Her smile and attitude are for sure contagious," Butteris adds.
Although her reign ends at the county level this year, Loken has the opportunity to run as the State Fairest of the Fair this coming January. She will head back to Iowa State University to finish her schooling, but she looks to stay involved.
"I would like to get back in and do something either with Fairest Committee somewhere else on the fair board, because it is our fair organization, and because it is something I'm passionate about," Loken said.
What's going on during the fair?
The fair fun begins today, August 29, and concludes Monday Labor Day on September 2. There will be something for everyone during the fair. Starting this morning were the livestock check-ins that ran beginning at 8 a.m. and concluded in mid afternoon. The midway opens at 5 p.m. Are you a dog person? Check out the dog agility school held at the Schimming Building starting at 5:30 p.m., A half hour later, the junior fair market gilt show starts at the swine barn, just two buildings up from the Schimming Building. The grandstands will also be busy with the local tractor pull located in front of the grandstands starting at 6:30 p.m. Want to see what the process is to get a dairy cow looking nice and good before the show? Look no further than the Jeff Dornick Memorial Dairy Fitting Contest held at the open dairy barn starting at 7 p.m.
Friday morning will see the pig barn busy with the junior barrow show starting at 8 a.m., with the Junior Dairy Show starting 9 a.m. at the Schimming Building. Outdoors fans will also get to see shooting sports taking place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be fair goat judging at the sheep/goat barn starting at 4 p.m. The midway opens at 5 p.m. with wristbands from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Are you a wine fan? There will be some homemade wine tasting held at the Commercial Building from 6-7 p.m., followed by some Texas Hold 'Em at the Entertainment Garden from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. New this year is the Lawn Mower Races held at the Grandstands also starting at 7 p.m. There will also be the Adult Jim Mitchell Hypnotist Show held at the Entertainment Garden starting at 10 p.m.
Saturday morning the showing fun continues with the junior rabbit show starting at 8 a.m. in the rabbit barn, the junior beef show 8:30 a.m. at the Schimming Building, the poultry show starting at 9 a.m., the open sheep judging at 10 a.m. in the sheep/goat barn, which is followed by the junior sheep show at 11 a.m. Not to worry if you're not a livestock fan, as there will also be the Jim Mitchell Magic Show at the Commercial Tent, then again at 2 p.m.. The midway opens at noon concluding at 9 p.m., with wristbands running from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be a kiddie tractor pull above the dairy barn starting at 1 p.m. along with a bean bag tournament starting at the same time next door at the entertainment garden. The junior livestock auction starts at the Schimming Building at 4 p.m. Tractor fans will get to see the popular Badger State Tractor Pull held at the grandstand starting at 6 p.m. Jim Mitchell fans will get to see the Hypnotist show happen again following the auction starting at 8 p.m. Live music provided by the Misbehavin Band will be held at the Entertainment Garden start at 9 p.m. This band will also perform Sunday from 5-7 p.m. at the same location.
The fun continues Sunday morning kicking off literally with the 4-H horse show held at the horse arena starting at 9 a.m.. Not a horse fan? No worries, as the beef extravaganza will be held at the Schimming Building starting at 10 a.m. in the Schimming Building. Fair goers will also have the opportunity to create a crown with the Fairest of the Fair, up at the Commercial Tent starting at 11 a.m. The cat judging contest will take place at the sheep barn around that same time. The midway opens again at noon until 9 p.m., with wristbands running from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Other events include the all breeds futurity show from 2-3 p.m. at the Schimming Building, Master Showman Contest at 4 p.m. at the swine barn, and Noah the National Hero Dog 4 p.m. at the Commercial Tent. A big crowd will be at the grandstand Sunday night as Seth Cook will perform starting at 7 p.m. followed by Confederate Railroad at 8:30 p.m.
Monday is the last day of the fair, but simply not least. From 9 a.m. the Schimming Building will see mini dairy showman show off their skills, while the open dairy show will be going on at the same time. Just up the small hill at the sheep barn will be the Barnyard Olympics starting at 11 a.m. The Midway will also be open starting at noon, with wristbands running from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This will also be the day that livestock will be released from the barns, some going home, others not. The Fairest of the Fair parade will be held at the Grandstand at 12:30 p.m. followed by Harness Racing starting at 1 p.m. The last day of the fair will go out with a bang, as the Demolition Derby will be at the Grandstands starting at 5 p.m.
Updates of fair events will be found on the Iowa County Fair 2019 Facebook page.

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