Hairball returns to MHC Fair

—Also playing is Neal McCoy, Youth Gone Wild


Howard County - Spring is barely here, but loads of folks are already looking forward to summer. Every day puts us closer to one of the biggest summer events in the area — the Mighty Howard County Fair, which is taking place June 21-25.
Hairball, the group that plays music from all those rock-n-roll bands from the 1980s, has performed to huge crowds on Saturday night for the past two years and is playing again this year. In 2015 upwards of 6,000 fans attended Party in the Pit to get up close to the high-performance group. The number was a bit lower last year due to the threat of weather.
Tom Barnes, executive secretary of the board, reported the rock-and-roll band will be coming back again. “We weren’t sure about a third year in a row, but a lot of people wanted them again. Hairball always does a great job.”
In addition, Neal McCoy is the big draw for Friday night, when the Country and Western star will be playing in the grandstand.
Besides the big-name entertainers, there are also other shows that bring swarms of people to Howard County for the fair.
Grandstand Shows
There are five big nights of shows and events that take place during the fair. For many years, show-goers have been able to purchase a button that gets them into all five events. This year is not different. The deal of the year is to purchase a button for $25 (or $35 the week of the fair) and attend all the grandstand events.
Buttons can be purchased at area businesses starting the week before Memorial Day. If a person wants to attend just one event, tickets can be purchased online at starting in May.
(Single tickets will cost $15 for 13 and older; $7 for 9-12 youth; and under eight years of age are free. Single tickets for Friday and Saturday nights will be $25, so it makes sense to get a button!)
• Tuesday, June 20: The Bill Riley Talent Search is the kick-off to the fair, with free admittance. Local and area talent show off their skills, with the top two finishers in two age categories being invited to the Iowa State Fair.
• Wednesday, June 21: The All-Star Monster Truck Tour will smash its way into the Mighty Howard County Fair. This is the first time the tour will be stopping in Howard County and will surely bring in a big group of fans. 
Barnes stated, “We have four trucks booked. One of them is Bounty Hunter, a world champion. I’m looking forward to a good show.”
The gates will open at 5:30 p.m., which allows folks to meet the monster truck drivers. The show will start at 7 p.m.
• Thursday, June 22: One of the tried and true crowd favorites is the Stock Car Races. New this year is USRA Late Models, which will be an exciting addition to Stock Cars, B-Mods and Hobby Stocks. Hot laps will start at 6:45 p.m. A pit pass is $25.
• Friday, June 23: Neal McCoy is a favorite of Country and Western fans in the area. 
“He is something else!” Barnes noted. He added the fair board has been trying to get him for several years, but he was always unavailable. “The industry says of Neal that other than Garth Brooks, nobody has more energy on stage. He is very engaging with the crowd.”
McCoy’s 15 career albums have sold over six million copies, not to mention his 25 charted singles.
His five number one singles include No Doubt About It, You Gotta Love That, They’re Playing Our Song, For a Change and Wink.
IV Play Band will be the opening act. The premier rock band based out of Mankato, Minn. was formed in 1999.
• Saturday, June 24: Hairball is an experience fans won’t soon forget. The three lead singers belt out favorites from Van Halen, KISS, Motley Crue, Queen, Journey and Aerosmith.
Barnes was pleased to announce  Youth Gone Wild, a heavy metal band of 13-15 year olds from Waterloo, Iowa, will be opening for Hairball. Drummer Derek Powers’ mother, Michelle Reicks graduated with the Crestwood Class of 1992.
• Sunday, June 25:  Wright Rodeo Company will again bring a complete rodeo to Mighty Howard County Fair. The three-hour show of Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc, Bare Back Riding, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping and Barrel Racing will make a person want to yell “Yeee haw!”
More Fun
The grandstand shows are great, but the Mighty Howard County Fair has so many other offerings.
New this year is Brunon Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tigers. He is a third-generation tiger trainer who will be performing three shows daily, Wednesday through Sunday.
Sparkles the Clown will be strolling the grounds sharing his magic, balloon creations and slight-of-hand tricks.
Back again are Nick’s Kids Show, Doyle Carving Niche’s Chainsaw Sculptures and facepainting.
The fair board is still getting the Expo Pavilion and Scheidel Plaza acts finalized.
As always, there are a lot of fun things to see at the Mighty Howard County Fair, and a lot of it is free!
Look for more events taking place during the 2017 Mighty Howard County Fair in the months to come. Check out the fair’s website at

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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