MORRISON, Ill. — The Whiteside County Fair kicked off Tuesday in Morrison after farmers arrived with their livestock and carnival vendors opened their food stands.
Although many features have stayed the same, guests at the 2013 fair may notice a few improvements made from last year.
Whiteside County Fair Director of Publicity Todd Mickley said the fair board and other volunteers worked tirelessly, putting in more than 500 hours, painting, repairing and restoring the fairgrounds and the structures located there.
"A lot of changes have been made this year," Mickley said. "But we've got to be doing new things every year to keep the excitement of the fair going."
One of the changes that Mickley feels will be most noticeable is the removal of an old barn that used to stand in the middle of the fairgrounds.
"We took down the old, red barn because it used to block the round barn and we wanted to open that space up," said Mickley, adding that a new shed was built for additional storage for fair equipment.
Other improvements made to the fairgrounds may not have been be as easy as the removal of the red barn.
The grounds' livestock sheds received a complete makeover during the fair's offseason. Those improvements included new doors, a fresh coat of paint and new lighting to brighten the livestock chambers.
"The majority of the work was all done by volunteers. We are a team," Mickley said. "It's amazing to see the maturity of the fairgrounds after so many years."
Another improvement Mickley mentioned was a revamp of the 2013 schedule of events. To keep things fresh and new at the fair, the board decided to enhance a few old events and introduce a couple new ones to draw bigger crowds through the week.