The Vilas County Fair will return to the fairgrounds in Eagle River Aug. 11-14.

The fair’s Midway, operated by Waupaca-based Sheridan Amusements, opens at 5 p.m Thursday, Aug. 11, and at noon Friday through Sunday, Aug. 12-14.

“We’re looking forward to having the fair this year, that’s for sure,” said Vilas County Fair Board President Dale Ayers. “We’ve got a new carnival coming in, we’ve got a couple of new bands coming in.”

Daily wristband specials will include: Thursday, $20, unlimited rides from 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, $25, unlimited rides noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, $25, unlimited rides from noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, $20, unlimited rides from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, receive $2 off in exchange for the donation of two nonperishable food items to the Vilas Food Pantry or the Humane Society of Vilas County

Daily attractions at the fair will include exhibits, Potlicker chainsaw sculptures, face painting, a beer garden and K-9 training drills.

Fair judging in a variety of categories begins at Thursday 7 p.m. and continues Friday at 9 a.m.

“The public is welcome to watch the judging,” said Ayers.

Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., a variety of games will be staged for younger fairgoers, including a water balloon toss, gunnysack races, a watermelon-eating contest and vegetable races.

According to Ayers, a couple of big hits with children, are the fair’s everyone-gets-a-prize cucumber races and watermelon-eating contest.

“You get to make your own car out of a cucumber and run it down a track,” Ayers said of the races, “It’s really neat. The parents get in there and help their kids put the wheels on. Some of them make it down the track and some don’t.” The cucumber races will be emceed by Dan Kirk.

There will be Dan Kirk Juggler Shows at Friday, 2 and 4 p.m., Saturday, 2 and 3:30 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m.

The fair will also offer four days of live music from 7 to 11 p.m., including Rebel Jane on Aug. 11; Still Reckless, Aug. 12; Refuse to Rust, Aug. 13; and Burton Tyler, Aug. 14.

The annual horseshoe tournament will begin Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., and Lena mini-modified tractor pulls Saturday at 4 p.m.

Food and beverage concessions will be available for purchase on the fairgrounds.

Vendor product sales will be conducted in the Commercial Building and 4-H exhibits and judging in the Exhibit Hall.

There is no gate charge to enter the Vilas County Fairgrounds. Dogs are not allowed on the fairgrounds unless it is a certified service animal.

Parking with the assistance of the Phelps-Land O’ Lakes Lions Club will be available adjacent to the fairgrounds for $5.

“It’s a good old-fashioned fair,” Ayers said. “The fair attracts some 10,000 attendees annually during its four-day run. I invite everybody to come to our fair and enjoy themselves and have a good time.”

The Vilas County Fair has been a local tradition since the first fair was held in Eagle River on Sept. 7, 1916, offering attendees 190 entries of vegetables, grains and grasses as well as 50 livestock exhibits.

For more information, visit vilascountyfair.com or contact (715) 479-2057.