2019 Delaware County Fair Week Recap

Monday, July 8

After celebrating the Delaware County Fair’s 150th anniversary milestone last year, the fair board is “shaking it up” with a few changes this year. Fair Manager Jeannie Domeyer says you’ll already notice a couple of big changes when the fair opens today.

One of the biggest changes to this year’s Delaware County Fair is no fireworks. Domeyer says the decision was made with safety in mind.

Hundreds of 4-H and FFA members showed up to the fairgrounds with their projects ready for judging.

Landon Palmer from the Aces 4-H Club brought a pretty unique project. It’s the Iowa Hawkeye tigerhawk logo, created out of screws drilled into a big board – 19,764 screws to be exact. Palmer says he worked on it nearly every day since January, putting in over three hundred hours to get his project done.

Palmer earned his first-ever purple ribbon for that project. Fellow club member Blake Cook won a purple ribbon with one of his projects too.

Emma Dunkel was a big winner in the Dog Show on Monday, winning Obedience and Overall Showmanship with a golden retriever named Bo.

Alaina Thier of Worthington won showmanship honors with her horse, Dixie. As a first-year 4-Her, it was her first time showing at the Delaware County Fair.

The Delaware County Fair parade was Monday night, with tons of floats again this year. The Delaware County Master Gardeners had a float this year depicting a garden filled with flowers and other plants.

That’s Marcia Banyas. She and fellow Master Gardeners Ross Snyder and Carol Burke say they’re looking forward to another great Delaware County Fair.


Tuesday, July 9

Tuesday was a busy day for 4-H/FFA judging, with the pet, poultry, rabbit, meat goat, sheep and agronomy shows.

Kyle Barrett won a purple ribbon in Tuesday’s Poultry Show with his turkey.


At the Pet Show, Ethan McGovern took first place honors with his pet turtle.

Emily Rudd took reserve champion honors with her cat in the pet show.

The free carnival rides opened today, too – it’s a new carnival this year with a couple different rides.

And Fair Manager Jeannie Domeyer says there’s new grandstand entertainment tonight – Amateur Tough Truck Races at 7 o’clock.


Wednesday, July 10

The Delaware County Fair is gearing up a brand new grandstands event tonight called EnduroCross. Promoter Chris Halverson says it’s a bit different than the MotoCross races the fair has always held in the past.

And one of best riders in the country will be in Manchester for tonight’s EnduroCross races.

Tonight is also the Christian concert with Sanctus Real. The Christian concert always draws a huge crowd of Christian music fans from across the state. That show starts at 7:30 pm in the festival area.

And Fair Manager Jeannie Domeyer says the Delaware County Fair has a few contests you can participate in – the Home Brewed Beer and Homemade Wine Contest kicks it off tonight at 6:30 pm by the Creative Arts Building, with the Salsa Contest tomorrow night – same time, same place.

Zachary Sifrit was volunteering in the fair’s STEM exhibit on Wednesday, but was excited to try out the new carnival rides once he got done.

Wednesday is always Dairy Day at the fair, with the Dairy Show the center of attention in the show ring. The Dairy Committee likes to recognize the senior exhibitors by bringing them into the ring for one final time and handing out a special award to one of them. This year’s winner was Tehya Demmer of Dundee.

Demmer has been showing dairy at the Delaware County Fair since she was in 4th grade. She says it’s not easy to say goodbye.

And it’s fun to watch the next generation come in… younger kids, not old enough to be in 4-H, got a chance to show a baby calf in the show ring too during the Kiddie Show. Morgan Hoeger of Delhi was one of two winners on Wednesday.

There was also a Kiddie Beef Show this year before Wednesday night’s Cow/Calf Show.


Thursday, July 11

Sanctus Real performed at the Christian concert in the festival area Wednesday night.

That’s band member Chris Rohman, who explains what has kept them going for over two decades.

EnduroCross – which replaced the usual MotoCross – brought a good crowd to the grandstands last night. And people are still talking about the new Amateur Tough Truck Races that were held Tuesday night.

That’s Pastor Tony Ede, who spends a lot of time at the fair throughout the week. His congregation at First Lutheran Church in Manchester runs the Feast and First Stand behind the grandstands.

It’s one of several groups who offer food at the fair, along with the 4-H Foodstand and the Delaware County Cattlemen’s Steer ‘n Stein.

And Thursday night brings several events to the grandstands and festival area, with a new night for the Truck and Tractor Pull. Fair Board President Kurt Palmer:


Friday, July 12

The Delaware County Fair is in its final stretch as we get ready to head into the weekend.

Yesterday, the 4-H/FFA Beef Show took center stage in the show ring. Adam Monaghan of Manchester was one of the big winners of the day, taking home overall Reserve Grand Champion honors with his steer as his “A-Team” cheered him on.

Adam’s got one more year to soak it all in before his high school years come to an end. Macy Loecke of Manchester is one of the seniors showing for the final time this week, with two steers in yesterday’s Beef Show and four pigs in today’s Swine Show.

Her dad, Mike, served on the fair board, so she says the Delaware County Fair is a summer tradition she grew up with.

And kids aren’t the only ones competing at the fair this week. Gladys Tinker of Manchester won “Best of Show” in the Open Class for her biscuits – a nice way to celebrate her 86th birthday.

Tinker was one of dozens of people who had the opportunity to meet Dr. Temple Grandin yesterday afternoon in the Kiddie Barn prior to her festival stage presentation last night. The fair board was thrilled to be able to bring Temple Grandin to the fair this year. She is an American professor of animal science at Colorado State University and a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. She’s also an autism spokesperson – something she has lived with her whole life. She had an important message for the 4-H and FFA exhibitors who gathered to listen to her.

Last night’s entertainment also included the Truck and Tractor Pull on a new night, as well as live music from The Dweebs on the festival stage.

Tonight, it’s Country Night at the Delaware County Fair with Neal McCoy and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna told KMCH’s Mike Johnson that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is ready to put on a great show after 50 years together.

New fair royalty will also be crowned between the shows tonight. This year’s candidates are Shaun Demoss and Grant Schnieders for Fair King and Peyton Carlson, Emma Dunkel, Georgie Hilby, Macy Loecke, Shelby March, Annika Sutter and Gracie Weeks for Fair Queen. Current fair royalty – Queen Brooke Wilson, King Justin Grawe and Princess Aleah Vaske – say representing the fair this past year has been a blast.

Before the crowning and concert, you can check out the 4-H/FFA Swine Show, which runs this morning into the afternoon. The swine exhibitors are noticing the  improvements made this past year to the hog building. Al Monaghan and Shirley Helmrichs from the Delaware County Pork Producers say it was a joint project between their group and the fair board.

Today’s Swine Show will bring the final purple ribbon winners of the week before tomorrow morning’s livestock sale.


Saturday, July 13

One of the best entertainers in country music performed at the Delaware County Fair in Manchester last night.

Neal McCoy, who had huge hits in the ‘90’s with “Wink” and “The Shake”, put on an energetic show, interacting with the audience the entire time. He told KMCH News Director Janelle Tucker before last night’s show that he didn’t have anything planned like most performers – he likes to “wing” it.

McCoy, who turns 61 later this month, says music has always been a part of his life.

He says he’s been very blessed in his career, with some great memories over the years.


One of the highlights of Neal McCoy’s show last night was during his rendition of an Alicia Keys song. He noticed 19-year old Mariah Seeley of Manchester – a former West Delaware music standout – near the stage singing along and handed her the microphone to let her finish the song – visibly shocked by just how good she was.

McCoy appeared later in the night too to sing “Let the Circle Be Unbroken” with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The band had the crowd dancing to their 1987 hit, “Fishin’ in the Dark”.

Tickets are still available for tonight’s VIP Night with Starship and The Georgia Satellites. Grandstand seating is free with your paid gate admission.

New fair royalty was also crowned last night. Shelby March of Earlville was crowned the 2019 Delaware County Fair Queen.

Grant Schnieders of Manchester was crowned the 2019 Delaware County Fair King.

And Macy Loecke, a recent West Delaware grad, was crowned the 2019 Delaware County Fair Princess.

Friday also wrapped up the 4-H/FFA judging for the week as swine exhibitors showed in the 4-H/FFA Swine Show. Nathan Beitz won honors in the last class of the day for Junior Showmanship.

The Draft Horse Show is also tonight at 7:30 pm. And on the fair’s final day tomorrow, you can catch the Open Class Dairy Show at 10 am, the Draft Horse Show at 11:30 am and the Demo Derby at 1 pm.


Sunday, July 14

The Delaware County Fair wrapped up its seven day run on Sunday.

As the fair board members got to work tearing down the fairgrounds at 5 pm, Fair Manager Jeannie Domeyer told KMCH they couldn’t pull off fair week each year without all of their volunteers.


The Delaware County Fair was under new leadership this year as longtime fair board president Al Boge handed the reigns off to Kurt Palmer. Boge was surprised with a special appreciation plaque on stage after the concert Saturday night.

And Domeyer says on Sunday at the Draft Horse Show, they recognized longtime board member Dan Lammers, who resigned last fall.

And it’s important to note that those fair board members are volunteers too – a lot of them using their vacation time from their regular jobs to spend the week working at the fair.

Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Delaware County Fair July 13th through the 19th, 2020.