The 100th edition of what is billed as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” starts tomorrow in Spencer. The Clay County Fair “Centennial Birthday Bash” will be held on Sunday, September 17. That’s the final day of the fair. Fair manager Jeremy Parsons says some traditional acts will take the grandstand stage that night.
“We’re going to have a human cannon ball with this. I mean, when was the last time you saw a human get shot out of a cannon? Literally the full length of our grandstand she’ll be flying through the air,” Parsons says. “Then we’re going to have the Karl King Band with us, a name that may be not as familiar today, but for 38 years in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, the Karl King Band performed at the fair.”
Karl King is a well-known composer of marching band music. He led the Fort Dodge Municipal Band for 51 years and it’s often called King’s Band. Parsons says the goal of the finale is to feature the type of acts that drew fairgoers to Spencer during the fair’s early days.
“Motor Maniacs will be with us,” Parsons says. “And what do the Motor Maniacs do? Well, they just do little things like ride a motorcycle on a high-wire or a motorcycle-on-the-globe-of-death or any type of high-wire acts.”
Tickets to the Birthday Bash are $15 each. Four dollars from each ticket sold will go to a music or theater organization in the area. The beneficiaries will be the Spencer Community Theatre and the music departments of the Spencer, Clay Central-Everly and Sioux Central School Districts.
(Reporting by Matt McWilliams, KICD, Spencer; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)