Going for the hay at Farmer Olympics

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Margaret Plevak | August 28, 2014

ELKHORN--Forget the javelin and the shot put.  If you want to see muscles in action at the Walworth County Fair, watch contestants tossing hay bales. Or toss one yourself.

Hay bale throwing has been “an iconic” feature of the Walworth County Fair, said Angie Kynell, chairman of the fair's youth advisory committee. But this year, it is a featured event in the Farmers Olympics-new for 2014--along with a water brigade, round hay bale pushing, and bouncy horse pole riding contests.

An 'Olympics' for farmers isn't a new  concept for county fairs around Wisconsin and elsewhere, with featured events ranging from sunflower seed spitting to agricultural trivia contests.

“It's a kind of historical event,” Kynell said. “We thought it would be a great way to attract a few more people, and add a bit of variety and excitement to events on the fairgrounds.”  

And Kynell hinted there might be a celebrity team in the Olympics, although she wasn't giving any details.

The Farmers Olympics will be held Monday, September, 1, beginning at 10 a.m., with registration at 9 a.m. at the Activity Center on the fairgrounds. Participants should register in teams of four.

Cash prizes for the event will be determined by the number of participants.
Kynell said the event is open to all ages, but those 8 years old and young will be eligible only for hay bale tossing.

In the past, folks of all ages have tried their hand at tossing hay bales, even if they've never attempted it before.

“We've had celebrities like the Fairest of the Fair (winners) throw hay bales,” Kynell said. “And it's so cute to see the little ones do it.”

Kynell said she doesn't hear many comments from contestants about the heft of a hay bale. “If it's heavy, they sure don't show it,” she said.

Worried about looking like a weak city dude as you're tossing a bale of hay?  Don't be.  
“We take a conglomeration of the scores from all four events for the final ranking, so it evens out. You don't have to be super fast or super strong to do this,” Kynell said. “Don't feel intimidated. This is just fun. Enjoy the camaraderie. That's what it's all about.”


Thursday, August 28

North American Midway Family Day,  one ticket per person, per ride, 1-6 p.m.
Senior Citizen’s Day, 62 and older $5
Special admission price for adults: $5 all day

Judging-Junior: beef, sheep
Open: antiques, arts and crafts, home economics department

10 a.m.        Class in Old School House, Park

10 a.m.        The Paul & Kenny Combo, Pepsi Stage

11 a.m.        Jack Farina Band, Park Stage

11 a.m.        Antique and stock tractor pulls, Grandstand

11 a.m.        Moo Mania Show, Kiddieland Stage

Noon           Nick’s Kids Show, Barnyard Adventure Stage

12:30 p.m.   Chainsaw artist Dave Watson, Kiddieland    

1 p.m.         Jack Farina Band, Park Stage

1 p.m.         Moo Mania Show, Kiddieland Stage

1 p.m.        Duck races, Kiddieland

1:30 p.m.    Pig races, Kiddieland

2 p.m.        Nick’s Kids Show, Barnyard Adventure Stage

2 p.m.        Outstanding Senior, Vendor, Exhibitor and Grandparents Award, Park Stage

2:30 p.m.    Chainsaw artist Dave Watson, Kiddieland    

3 p.m.        Jack Farina, Park Stage

3 p.m.        Duck races, Kiddieland

3 p.m.        Moo Mania Show, Kiddieland Stage

3 p.m.        Blackwater Trio, Pepsi Stage

3:30 p.m.    Pig races, Kiddieland

4 p.m.        Nick’s Kids Show, Barnyard Adventure Stage

4:30 p.m.   Chainsaw artist Dave Watson, Kiddieland

5 p.m.        Duck races, Kiddieland

5 p.m.        Moo Mainia Show, Kiddieland Stage

5:30 p.m.    Pig races, Kiddieland

6 p.m.        Nick’s Kids Show, Barnyard Adventure Stage

6 p.m.        Show us your talent, Park Stage

6 p.m.        American Legion VFW flag ceremony, Grandstand

6:30 p.m.    Chainsaw artist, Dave Watson, Kiddieland

7 p.m.        Moo Mania Show, Kiddieland Stage

7 p.m.        Duck races, Kiddieland

7 p.m.        Badger State Tractor Pulls, Grandstand

7:30 p.m.    Pig races, Kiddieland

Daily events:
Farm machinery display
HCE exhibits and demos
Log cabin
North American Midway
Barnyard Adventure
Discovery Barn
Calf Barn
Historical Society used book sale in the Park, daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.    

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