The Richmond Free Fair is back for 2018.

Slated for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the beloved community event returns in its 94th iteration this year with music, activities and competition for all ages.

THURSDAY

The fair kicks off Thursday with the Entering of Events 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Judging for exhibits in the community building begins at 1:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., Poultry Judging and Showmanship, along with the Thursday athletic events, will be hosted on the fairgrounds. For the latter event, prizes will be awarded for first and second place. Age groups range from five and under to 12 to 15. The evening concludes with the annual TT&T Watermelon feed at 7 p.m., accompanied by a Cowboy Olympics and a performance by Rearview Mirrors at 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY

The fair continues bright and early Friday with the Judging of Swine at 8 a.m. A Livestock Judging Clinic/Contest will be hosted at 1 p.m.

Later in the evening, Judging of Sheep and Goats, Rabbit Judging and Showmanship, and athletic events all begin at 6 p.m. TT&T will again host a Watermelon Feed for audience and participants in the “Old Time Games” — nail driving, screw driving, egg toss, and others — at 7 p.m., followed by a performance by Rusty Rierson at 9 p.m.

SATURDAY

Saturday’s events begin at 8:30 a.m. with Judging of Dairy and Beef cattle. 10 a.m. will see an Old Tractor and Other Machinery show, along with a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. A coin toss will be hosted by Goppert State Bank at 1 p.m., followed by a greased pig contest at 2 p.m., a horseshoe pitch at 3:30 p.m., and athletic events at 4 p.m. Also at 4 p.m. will be the Princeton Goal Busters Ice Cream sale and a pie contest. At 5:15 p.m., a judging of decorated bicycles will precede the Grand Parade at 6 p.m., which will feature the theme “Proud to be an American.” The Central Heights Drill Team and Cheerleaders will perform at 7:15 p.m., followed by the Presentation of Awards ceremony at 7:45 p.m.

The evening will conclude with music by The Lost Troubadours at 8:15 p.m.

BEYOND THE FAIR

According to Pat Vining, Herald contributing writer and longtime fair supporter, there are two additional places to visit near the Richmond Free Fair this week.

“Just a few steps west of the fairgrounds, the Richmond Community Museum will be open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. or later and welcomes visitors with air/conditioning, bottled water and lots of interesting things to see,” Vining said. “The museum has a new carpeted concrete floor to support its treasures, and there are many ... all from the Richmond community. You’ll learn about Scoop McLees’ submarine experience, see Edith Hornberger’s “Richmond Star” quilt, Dorothy Horstick’s American Royal grand champion steer, Walter Butler’s Richmond Band director’s uniform, the Barhan family 1878 baby cradle, three different kinds of butter churns and so much more. So, when you’ve seen all the fair exhibits, you’ll be welcomed at the Richmond Museum. It’s probably the best kept secret in town.”

The other attraction is hosted at Richmond’s United Methodist Community Church.

“‘Open Doors’ at the United Methodist Church, just across the street north of the fair, offers the entire Fellowship Hall full of hobbies, collections, quilts, photography, and all kinds of things to just enjoy from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each fair evening,” Vining said. The idea of “Open Doors” is go give folks the opportunity to share some of their favorite or more interesting things.”

Mary L. Hall, Open Doors coordinator, said there will be more than 30 different displays, plus several photo and memory albums to browse. The event will also feature the “Pokey the Clown” character part of the time.

“There is no competition, judging, or sales; it’s all for fun,” Hall said. “There will be nun dolls, model airplanes, needlework, a Boy Scout display and a wooden 4-H emblem that’s been used for years.

“The church, also, is air-conditioned and cold water is available.”