Phil Vandel will appear at the Johnson County Fair on July 30. Vandel has traveled the world throughout North America, including several shows each year in Las Vegas. He is a proud supporter of the military, and the Phil Vandel Band has a repertoire of hundreds of songs. Submitted photo


This year’s Johnson County Fair will feature a special 80th anniversary celebration that will include family friendly fun events and a concert by Phil Vandel, country star.
The fair, which kicks off on July 28 and runs through to Aug. 3 will showcase the county’s agricultural heritage interspersed with lots of entertainment.
On opening day, a rabbit and poultry show will be followed by a dog show. On July 29 the 4H food judging will take place on the south end of the fairgrounds while on the main arena there will be the coronation of the rodeo queen and princess. Later in the evening there will be 4H horse show timed events at the main arena.
July 30 will be one of the most exciting days at the fairgrounds.
The carnival will open at 5 p.m. with rides and kids events. This will be followed by the official 80th anniversary celebrations from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. The anniversary events, titled “get back to our roots.” will include hot dogs and ice cream coupled with fun events for the whole family. Events include muttin’ busting, greased pig contests and a concert by Phil Vandal.
Vandel will open his act at 7pm.
On July 31, several contests and shows will held including a sheep grooming contest, a dairy goat show, a swine show and a goat milking demonstration.
A barrel racing contest will be held in the evening before the KC Dixieland band takes center stage for a concert.
On August 1, an amateur flat trek race will take place followed by a show by the Docey Dandies square dancers.
August 2 is also a jam-packed day with livestock judging contests.
On the same day, the fair has scheduled a special “chasing memories” event specifically for special need individuals. The fair board says this is a unique opportunity of individuals with special needs to be exposed to livestock programs and the 4H youth of Johnson County.
The chainsaw art auction will be held later that afternoon followed by a truck and tractor pull event.
The day’s events will be capped by a concert by Travis Martin on the main arena.
On Aug. 3, the day will start at 10 a.m. with a parade through downtown Gardner with creative floats to reflect this year’s theme- “have a squealing good time.”
The annual parade will be followed by a livestock auction and a demolition derby before Greenside Up, a bluegrass band takes center stage for a concert.
The fair, a showcase of agricultural output, techniques and technologies in a fun filled environment is also about thanksgiving and official events will end with a church service on the Midway stage Aug. 4.