The “Best Little Fair in the Land” is back for another year.
The East Perry Community Fair will take place this weekend Sept. 22-23 in Altenburg.
The fair boasted one of the largest crowds in the history of the event in 2022, and are looking to repeat that success again this year. It was estimated that East Perry County saw in excess of 30,000 people walk about the grounds over the course of the two-day event last year.
The fair will once again open with the parade at 1:30 p.m. on Friday featuring several local high school bands including Perryville and St. Vincent High School.
East Perry County couple Bill and Nelda Koeberl will be honored as the Grand Marshals during the festivities. The couple married in 1977, 46 years together now, and around that same time, Mrs. Koeberl would begin her forty-five-year teaching career in the Lutheran Schools of Frohna and Altenburg. Nelda retired her teaching books in May of 2022 but her years of teaching service to this community made her a deserving choice to be a grand marshal. Bill is a former Board Member and has served in helping to run the horse shows throughout the years. He has and continues to operate and maintain the PA system throughout the fairgrounds. He is also instrumental in the parade and its formation.
There will also be several competitions that will surely be well attended well into the night.
The popular 4X4 Truck Pull returns on Friday evening at 7 pm as well as the fair’s largest spectator draw, the “World Championship” Mule Jumping Competition at 3:30 pm on Saturday.
On Saturday, the starting time has been moved forward to 6 pm for the Tractor Pull which will feature the Illinois Hot Farm Stock Pullers for their third appearance at the fair.
As customary at the fair, most of the livestock judging and shows remain the same except for the 4-H and FFA Market Lamb and Goat Show which has been moved to 9:30 am on Friday to better meet the busy schedules of the youth that participate in this show.
Back by popular demand, local acts will grace the stage during the fair. Ian Ferguson, Carly Green, and Logan Chapman are returning and will be joined by Clint Sattler to provide the music for Saturday afternoon from Noon-4:30 pm. The final group to perform will be Randy Preston’s family band Generation on Saturday at 7 pm.
Dustin Bishop has been added on Friday to perform at 4 p.m. to be followed by the Burnt Mill Boys at 7 p.m.
While the music is nice, many come for the various food options available at the fair. There will be 18 food stands with hamburgers, catfish fillets, funnel cakes, and bratwurst along with newer choices like blooming onions, quesadillas, and smoked turkey legs.
Yes, the grilled cheese sandwiches will be available as well.
Carnival rides will also be available for kids to ride, however, there will be a bit of a change there. After having Clay County Amusements provide the carnival rides for many years, there will be a change due to the retirement of the owner, Kent Brinkley. The rides this year will be provided by Goldstar Amusements, which is a family owned and operated business with over six generations of history. They will be bringing around 10 rides to Altenburg, including some real big rides, as they return to the south after spending the summer in Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas.
The fair will continue to be free admissions and parking for those who attend. It is recommended that fairgoers plan to arrive early for to reduce their waiting times in traffic.