The Richmond Free Fair is entering its 95th consecutive year. The fair activities are set for July 11-13.

A new rule this year is each exhibitor will be limited to four animals of each species (four beef, four rabbits, etc.). Laurinda Sobba, livestock superintendent, said 4-H livestock entries have increased the past several years.

“Having the new barn and show arena, two years ago, with additions last year, have made showing and judging much easier, thanks to Rob Pearce and QSI of Richmond, who provided all the new facilities,” Sobba said. “In 2018, there were 231 total livestock entries from five counties. All classes increased, but beef more than others.”

Other fair activities include the parade, which theme is “Life in a Small Town,” along with athletic events for all ages. The parade is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, July 13.

The decorated wagons, tricycles, doll carriages, bicycles and pet parade will be on Main Street with the judging at 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

The fair opens Thursday, July 11, with the entering of the exhibits, followed at 1:30 p.m. by the start of the judging. The athletic events are at 6 p.m. with prizes awarded for first and second places. There are 25 events scheduled.

Friday’s activities start at 8 a.m. with the judging of the swine and ends with the Prairie Wind Band performing.

Saturday’s activities include old tractor and machinery show, tractor games, greased pig contest, parade, presentation of awards and music performance by The Lost Troubadours.

Besides the fair activities, people may stop at two near-by locations to see interesting displays. Across the street from the fair at the United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall is full of displays — from quilts to photography books, paintings, angels, model airplanes, woodcraft, and collections of several items.

This is the 15th year of Open Doors, named for the world-wide motto of the United Methodist Church — “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” The idea came from Mary L. Hall who said, “Let’s open the church doors during the fair.”

The church is open 4-8 p.m. each day and church officials said there is no admission charge, no judging, no sales, just folks sharing hobbies and collections.

There will be a display of pictures, books and other materials about Florence (Brummel) Lickteig, who taught at Scipio West School from 1924-1932. The display was put together by her daughter, Dottie Lickteig, who even has a tape recording of her mother telling about her teaching years.

Just west of the fairgrounds, the Richmond Community Museum, also welcomes visitors with air conditioning, cold bottled water, and historical information. The museum has collected more than 1,000 artifacts and countless pieces of archival materials.

A new display is 40 pictures of wedding and birthday cakes decorated by the late Catherine Mildfelt. You can learn why Mildfelt taught herself to decorate cakes and why she mailed some of them to the brides.

The story of Silkville Ranch, near Williamsburg, is told in an album made by Judy Simpson and was presented to the museum at its annual meeting. Most of the museum’s artifacts are labled and originated from the Richmond community. The fair’s rich history is contained in two albums in the museum. The museum hours during the fair are 2-8 p.m.

— Pat Vining provided information for this story.

Schedule of events
Thursday, July 11
    9 a.m.-1 p.m. — entering of exhibits.
    1:30 p.m. — judging begins for exhibits in Community Building.
    6 p.m. — Poultry judging and athletic events.
    7 p.m. — Watermelon feed.
    7:30 p.m. — Garnett Community Band.
    8 p.m. — Rearview Mirrors.
    8 a.m. — Swine judging.
    1 p.m. — Youth Livestock judging.
    6 p.m. — Athletic events, judging of sheep, goats, rabbits.
    7 p.m. — Watermelon feed.
    7:30 p.m. — Old Time Games.
    9 p.m. — Prairie Wind Band.
    8:30 a.m. — Dairy and beef cattle judging.
    10 a.m. — Old Tractor & other machinery show; 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
    2 p.m. — Greased pig contest.
    4 p.m. — Athletic contests, ice cream sale, pie contest.
    5:15 p.m. — Judging of decorated bicycles.
    6 p.m. — Parade.
    7:45 p.m. — Presentation of Awards.
    8:15 p.m. — the Lost Troubadours.