New year, new theme

Crowds gather Aug. 19, 2017, at the Berrien County Youth Fair in Berrien Springs.

Animals, plants, crafts, baked goods, rides and grandstand performances will make for a fun-filled week Aug. 12-17.

The fair is celebrating its 74th year with the theme “Country Nights, Carnival Lights.”

Before the fair officially opens Monday, the royalty contest starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9, followed by the crowning of the king and queen in the grandstand.

The gates open at 7:30 a.m. on Monday with most exhibit buildings ready for viewing by 11 a.m. Rides, however, will not start until 6 p.m. on Monday only. Tuesday through Saturday, rides start at 11 a.m.

Again this year, every day will be “Rides Wristband Day.” Wade Shows rides personnel oversee the rides at the Fair each summer, and partnered with the Fair last year to make each day a wristband day.

The cost of a wristband is $22 each, Monday through Thursday, and $25 each on Friday and Saturday. Wristbands allow a person to ride most of the rides as often as they want to any one day during the fair.

Wristbands can be bought at the Wade Show Rides Office during the fair, between 11 a.m and 9 p.m. The minimum height requirement for rides is 36 inches.

Tuesday is Kid’s Day, when all children through high school age get in the gates for free. Daily admission otherwise is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors age 65 and over and $4 for children ages 5-12. A season pass sells for $20 for adults, $13 for seniors and $10 for children.

Admission gates close daily at 10 p.m., while the tram service is available from the Yellow and Red parking lots from 6-10 p.m.

Courtesy shuttles sponsored by Country Heritage Credit Union will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will be special golf carts providing a shuttle service from various points throughout the fairgrounds to assist fair visitors who need a little extra assistance. Designated shuttle stops will be marked with signs.

Recycling containers for plastic bottles and cans will be located throughout the grounds.