LEXINGTON — The 2019 Dawson County Fair is just around the corner and there are again a myriad of events for people to participate in. Several events will be making a return to the fair for everyone to enjoy. The fair runs from Wednesday, July 17 to Sunday, July 21.

The “Smokin’ Behind the Barn BBQ” competition is making a return after debuting last year and will take place Saturday, July 20. Dawson County Fair Manager Ann Johnson said there will be 10 competitors taking part this year.

Johnson said competitors can check in and start cooking at 7:00 pm, Friday, July 19. Judging will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 and the food is available at 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm.

There is a $500 cash prize for each category, brisket and pork. There is $100 prize for a mystery dish people can prepare to their choosing. The brisket is being donated by Tyson and pork by the Beattie family. Questions can be addressed to Gary Wendt at 308-708-1272 or Mike Eberle at 308-962-0112.

The Dawson County Fair Rodeo is also making a return and will take place Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20, starting at 7 p.m. each night.

Phillips Rodeo will be the stock contractor again this year, Johnson said. Admission for adults is $10, children 6-12 are $5 each, and children 5 and under are admitted for free.

Entertainment this year will be provided by Scott Cameron, a rodeo clown who was hired for the Dawson County Fair. He will be acting as a bull fighter and providing some clownish entertainment between the events.

The Beef and Brew Tasting will take place Thursday, July 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. Local breweries, including Mac’s Creek Winery, Canyon Lakes Brewing Company and Kinkaider Brewing Company, will be on hand to provide 5 oz. samples for $10. After the samples, people may purchase glasses of beer.

Formerly Three will be returning to the stage during the Beef and Brew tasting and will play from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The band is made up of Lexington High School band teacher Spencer Hansen and drummer Luke Oswald.

Open Class will have a new look this year and a new superintendent, Corky Anderson. A change to open class this year is the school art made by area students will be displayed in the Commercial Building to make more room for Open Class entries.

A new event coming to the 2019 fair is the Vault Escape Games of Nebraska. This is a 15 minute escape room which will be open for $7 admission on Friday and Saturday. Participants can imagine themselves as high end museum thieves poised on attaining the latest exhibit from Egypt.

Dawson County 4-H members will be participating again in the Elite Showmanship. The Elite Showmanship Contest gives the top two senior showmen from divisions of sheep, swine, feeder calves and beef the opportunity to compete against other exhibitors at the Dawson County Fair. Participants will be judged on their showmanship skills and knowledge of each species of animal.

Judges determine a winner based on the highest score in the show ring and on results of a 30-question test. A committee will select the animals that will be used in the contest; exhibitors will then draw at random to determine what animal they will be showing. The contest will start at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20.

Food trucks will be at the fair during the whole week and will be serving items such as funnel cakes, papusas, Mexican corn on the cob and ice cream.

There are many more events going on during the 2018 Dawson County Fair which are all open to the public.

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