116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Linn County Fair returns in person this week featuring concerts, contests and other events starting Wednesday
The fair, which will run through Sunday at the fairgrounds at 201 Central City Rd. in Central City, returns this year after being virtual in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everyone is really excited to be back at the fairgrounds in person,” said Heidi Steffen, Fair Association co-vice president and marketing manager. “Before we had to go virtual last year, we had the majority of our events booked, so all of them allowed us to move them to this year.”
This year’s grandstand performances include Brothers Walker Band, the Hometown Heroes Rock Concert with Pinicon Drift, Crazy Delicious and Vicebox and Sawyer Brown.
The Brothers Walker Band is a free, drive-in concert Wednesday night, and Thursday night’s Hometown Heroes concert is free for all first responders with proof of ID.
“The drive-in concert is for those still weary about crowds,” Steffen said. “We want to provide an opportunity for them to get out and still enjoy a concert. They can be out at the fair and do it at their comfort level.”
The fair will hold its regular 4-H and FFA contests showcasing animals such as horses, cows, pigs, dogs and cats. Other competitions include photography, baking, stroller racing, cookie stacking, bale stacking, pie eating and beard contests.
Last year, the fair held some contests virtually. They included photography, rock art, sculpture art, chalk art, gardening and pie eating.
Steffen stressed the importance of getting more volunteers to help with this year’s fair.
“We need volunteers,” Steffen said. “Besides the manager, a groundskeeper and a janitor. We are 100 percent volunteer, and it takes 8,000 hours to put on the fair. The shifts are all on our website. Or just show up the day you want to volunteer and they can place you.”
Matthew Durian, 23, has taken over as the manager for the fair, a role that was vacant during 2020.
Durian is from Paso Robles, Calif., and attended California Polytechnic State University, majoring in agricultural communications.
He was also a member of Cal Poly’s Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show and was the livestock manager for the show in 2020. Durian has also worked as an intern for the Arizona National Livestock Show and the Texas State Fair. He also has worked for the Santa Barbara County Fair and California Mid-State Fair.
“Growing up, I was always showing livestock,” Durian told The Gazette. “I’ve always wanted to be in the fair industry, and when I was traveling, I’ve always loved the Midwest.”
Linn County Fair Board member Jennifer Dunn said Durian will be a great person for the job.
“We are excited to have Matt as part of the fair family,” Dunn said. “We look forward to putting his skills to use to further grow and develop our rental and partnership offerings.”
Durian said he is excited to bring new ideas to Linn County.
“I don’t like being pegged as the kid from California. It’s a double-edged sword because I think I do things differently,” he said.
“But I hope I can bring some West Coast things here to Iowa. I do think being from California is going to be a big help. I’m coming from a different mindset and background than a lot of people out here.”
For more information on the fair, visit thelinncountyfair.com.
Comments: (319) 398-8255; email@example.com