LEXINGTON — It felt a little more like summer last week as the 2021 Dawson County Fair was ongoing. The fair returned this year with a full slate of familiar and new activities with the motto, “County Pride, County Wide.”
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scope of the fair had to be curtailed heavily and was limited to 4-H events. There was no carnival, no rodeo, no events that would have drawn a large crowd.
This year felt like a welcomed return to a staple for family and children during the middle of summer.
Events kicked off on Wednesday with 4-H exhibits and shows, several different types of food vendors, a beer garden and the first night of the carnival.
Thursday saw a new event, a salute to veterans, including the presentation of Quilts of Valor to two local veterans who had past involvement in the Dawson County Fair. Other speakers highlighted the Heartland Military Museum, the Dawson County Hero Flight and the proposed Lexington Veterans Pavilion.
Also awarded, was the Farm Family of the Year, Laurens and Alice McCain accept the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award from the Aksarben Foundation and Nebraska Farm Bureau in recognition of Oscar E. and Kristina M. Tederman family farm established in 1919.
Friday also featured several new events, including the first night of the Craft and Vendor Show. There were 28 vendors set up in the commercial building selling products that ranged from decorations, jewelry and picture paintings.
Vendors included 68 Creations, 4W Accessories, Be The Good Boutique, Crunchi, Dazzle in Design by Nikki, Dot Dot Smile, Double L Embroidery, Dyer Crafts, Hana Brock Art, Lace & Leather Co., Juice Street +/Tower Garden, Junk and Jellies, Mary Kay/Colorstreet, Donna Holbein, Natali Lopez, Nebraska Girls Vinyl, Neora, Pink Zebra, Scentsy, Sew Knot Perfect, Tastefully Simple - Stodard, Teddy Bear Mobile, This – N – That by Tim and Rita, Truebeauty, Wild Ember Apothecary, YoAdrianeCo, Ady’s Baked Goods and BRK Family Flipz.
The craft show returned for a second day on Saturday morning.
Another unique new event was the homemade salsa competition on Friday evening. There were 15 people who participated; there were two categories, red and green salsa. The salsa entries were judge separately before being opened for public tasting.
The awards handed out were for the hottest salsa, best flavor and the people’s choice award. The public tasting was also treated to a dancing performance of, “The Jarabe.” The dance is considered Mexico’s, “national dance,” and is referred to the Mexican Hat Dance in English.
The dance symbolizes the courtship of a woman by a man, who at first is refused but accepted in the end. The two protagonists are usually a man in a charro suit and a woman in a “China Poblana” outfit.
Just next door, the Dawson County Rodeo started its first night on Friday with several different events including steer wrestling, bareback riding, ladies breakaway roping, tie down roping and saddle bronc riding, mixed team roping, team roping, ladies barrel racing and bull riding.
The rodeo continued the next evening, with more participants in the listed events. A barbeque feed took place, followed with a performance by Ragland concert immediately following the rodeo.
The Dawson County Ranch Rodeo took place on Sunday.
The carnival this year was again provided by Moore’s Greater Shows of Donna, Texas.