Stoughton Fair underway for 96th year

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 11:09 AM CDT
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STOUGHTON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Stoughton Fair is underway for its 96th year of free festivities and competitions through the Fourth of July.

The non-profit event relies on hundreds of volunteers to take place each year. Activities include animal shows, rodeos, live music, tractor pulls, food eating contests, and a nightly carnival.

Exhibitors range from 4H and FFA groups in the area to senior citizens showing off crafts and creations inside the Mandt Center.

Kyle Cummings, 17, is returning for his fourth year of showing animals at the fair. This year Cummings has a cow-calf pair and a heifer which he recently bred and will have a calf from next spring.

“It’s a great experience coming out here and meeting new friends always and having a good time competing with other people. It’s pretty fun seeing how their animals work and learning off that,” said Cummings.

The senior in high school from Cambridge plans to help run a small beef farm and hopefully expand into selling show cattle. He said competing in the fair gives him good life skills for the future.

“In life you’ve got to go out and work for stuff, it’s like working with your cows for fair you’ve got to train them and put in a lot of work,” said Cummings.

First year exhibitor Elaine Fuelling, 17, is showing a cow dairy calf at the fair and expressed similar sentiments amid the competition.

“I feel like it gives you more determination to work harder. You have to put in the time with your cow, your calf, your steer to really go far in competitions,” said Fuelling.

The teenager from Marshall said her parents used to show animals at fairs in Iowa, so it is exciting for her to continue the family tradition in Wisconsin.

“I decided to show for a new experience. I talked to my FFA advisor Paula Bakken and she really urged me to get into this to try something new,” said Fuelling.

Fair organizers are also honoring the memory of a former exhibitor, 16-year-old Ben Chadwick, who was killed in a car crash ahead of last year’s fair.

His family helped raise funds to rebuild the beef barn at the fairgrounds. They are also dedicating Friday’s beef show to him.

“It was their dream, they knew kind of what Ben wanted, to improve on something he so enjoyed. They’ve been down here at the fair the last couple of days enjoying the fair themselves. It’s a family atmosphere and they’ll always be family to us,” said Stoughton Fair President Chris Quam.

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