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Calen Sorenson speaks with the Clover Kid judge during the 2017 Winnebago County Fair.

THOMPSON | Representatives from Iowa State University Extension will lead the Winnebago County Fair Parade at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 22, in Thompson. 

This year is the 100th anniversary of ISU Extension in Winnebago County, so it was the ideal time for the organization to be chosen as grand marshal, according to Lynn Hagenson, who is in charge of the fair parade.

"They do a lot for the fair," he said. 

He said members of the Winnebago County Extension Board are elected by the public. 

Over the past century, "there's been hundreds of board members and leaders who have been involved in Extension," he said.  

Ashley Throne, program coordinator/office manager for Winnebago County Extension, said it's great for the organization to be honored for its hard work, but "we don't do it for recognition. We do it for the kids."

Although Extension is most widely known for 4-H, the organization does many other things, according to Throne. 

Extension gives advice to farmers and holds classes for adults on topics such as nutrition, according to Thorne. 

"The opportunities are endless," she said. 

More on the fair

This year's fair, scheduled for July 19-22, will feature some new entertainment. 

The grandstand event for Friday night will be Celebrity Donkey Races. 

Winnebago County Fair Board President Tom Thompson said this event involves "getting on a donkey and hoping you don't fall off" before crossing the finish line. 

Local teams are still being recruited for the races. 

"There's not a lot of celebrities in Winnebago County," but some familiar faces will be part of the event, Thompson said. 

Also new to the fair is the Grand River Rodeo. 

The Circle C Rodeo, which has been a part of the fair for a number of years, is no longer together. 

The Grand River Rodeo has a few events Circle C didn't have, such as calf-roping, Thompson said. 

Another new feature at the fair is Lawnmower Races, to be held on July 22. 

The free entertainment will include a performance by Calling Home, a trio from Forest City that's new to the fair this year. 

A mobile fishing pond will be brought in and stocked with trout so children can take turns fishing 

The one-room schoolhouse at the fairgrounds has new siding on it, and the Kiddie Barn has a new roof and other improvements. 

This year is not only the 100th anniversary of Extension, but also the 100th anniversary of the Winnebago County Farm Bureau. 

As part of its centennial celebration, Farm Bureau will provide animals for the Kiddie Barn.

The organization also will provide a free hamburger feed and run a combine simulator. 

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