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When area residents founded the Kendall County Fair in 1841, they wanted to show off their prize livestock and share agricultural techniques. They held chariot races, served ice cream, and showed exhibitions of horticulture, needlework, and machinery. Then, after 53 years, the old fair was forced to close its gates in August 1907 due to expenses and declining ticket sales. In 1993, a group of volunteers conspired to resurrect the show and continue its mission of education and entertainment.
Today, livestock compete for blue ribbons and local canines are groomed to battle in a dog show. Nashville country-music artists suffuse the air with their twangy observations on life and brave souls climb aboard modern machinery to charge through obstacle courses during lawn-mower races. Amid all this excitement, the fair’s organizers also host an antique-tractor parade, attempting to keep old machines running in a straight line—a feat more difficult than reprogramming a robot dog with new software.