Preparations under way for 101st Cattle Congress Fair - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Preparations under way for 101st Cattle Congress Fair


The 101st annual National Cattle Congress Fair will get underway in Waterloo later this week.  This year, organizers are bringing back some favorite fair activities that haven't been around for years.

Driving along Ansborough Avenue in Waterloo, you can catch a glimpse of all the hard work that's going into preparing for this year's National Cattle Congress Fair. 

"We're building our outdoor stage, putting that up.  We're putting up massive tents.  We're getting the carnival rides set up.  We're getting the vendors set up in Estel Hall.  It's just crazy, but it's a fun crazy," said NCC general manager Larry Gaffey.

The outdoor stage is a new feature inside the Cattle Congress grounds this year.  It will host several music acts throughout the weekend in addition to shows being held inside of McElroy Auditorium.  Those shows are the fair's first concerts in more than a decade.

"We're only four days this year still.  We're going to try to make it more in the future.  But we've got 10 days of entertainment packed in four days," said Gaffey.

Even with all that entertainment, make no mistake—the Cattle Congress Fair has always been and will continue to be largely focused around agriculture.

"Our ag base will never be forgotten here.  And this place was started by the dairy industry.  And they'll always have a home at the Cattle Congress. That's what we're here for," Gaffey said.

Part of that commitment this year also means the return of the youth dairy show, which has been absent from the fair for 15 years.  Fair organizers hope all their extra efforts will pay off.  It's not about making more money, but bringing the fair back to what many people remember from fairs past so that they'll return to the fair for years to come.

"Like we say, discover it again for the first time," said Gaffey.

The National Cattle Congress Fair runs Thursday-Sunday.  Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 17 and younger.  You can find a complete schedule of the weekend's events here.

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