Rural Missouri - August 2020 - 9

Each August, the town of Lamar swells from its usual
population of 4,300 to an anticipated crowd of 10,000 for
the fair, which offers midway rides for attendees on the
last four days.
"This is a big deal in our part of the state," says Terry's
by Heather Berry | hberry@ruralmissouri.coop
younger brother, Edwin, 74. "People even come here from
Oklahoma and Kansas. We appreciate it."
ometimes the hottest days of summer can bring the
The fair has been part of Terry's and Edwin's summer
most fun: swinging from tires over the creek, jumpdating back to 1943 when their father started organizing
ing from bale to bale as the hay is lined up along
the local fair. Sadly the family patriarch passed away
the fence line, listening to the music of
suddenly in 1968 at the age of 59. After watching their
the ice cream truck as it turns the street corfather gather the community together each summer
ner. Another sign summer is in full swing is
for nearly 25 years, his sons chose to carry on as
when a fair comes to town.
co-managers of the Lamar Free Fair.
Seventy-seven years ago, Lamar businessman
"When
Dad came home from serving in France
Marion "Bud" Moore launched what has now
"
Lamar
during World War II, he wanted to expand the
become tradition for the town: the Lamar Free Fair,
farming expo they'd been hosting each sumthe largest free fair in Missouri.
mer," Terry says. "With the donations of the
"There's no entry or parking fee charged like
townsfolk and dozens of volunteers, it's become
most fairs and any entertainment is free," says
much of what is here today."
81-year-old Terry Moore, Bud's oldest son. "The only thing
The Moore Pavilion located just off the square was built
you pay for are carnival rides, food and vendor items. Our
in honor of their father and serves as home to numerous
fair is about as budget-friendly as you can get."
livestock competitions during the fair. Most of those who
As of our publication date, the Lamar Free Fair is
participate are 4-H or FFA youth vying for more ribbons,
scheduled for Aug. 8 through Sept. 6, but please refer to
trophies and possibly even the sale of their prize farm
the contact information at the end of this article for further
animal. Some, like 7-year-old Cole Runnels shown on our
information.
cover, are just beginning their livestock show experience.
Whether large or small, there's a certain energy every"Cole's been showing calves since he was four," says
one feels when attending a fair. The putt-putt of old tracAllie Runnels, Cole's mother. "He already loves showing
tors and antique cars in the parade; a practiced wave from
cattle at the fair. He's really excited to show again during
a newly crowned fair queen; the scent of cotton candy and
the fair this summer."
ears of corn dripping with butter; the sight of kids preparThe youngster is certainly no stranger to cattle as his
ing cattle for competition or the hawking invites from midfamily runs a herd of 120 registered Simmental and Angus
way workers as the dog days of summer turn into nights
cows on their Jasper farm, which is served by Barton
brightly lit by carnival lights - it adds up to a lot of fun for
County Electric Cooperative.
all ages.
Editor's note: The following information is accurate as of
July 13. Please refer to Lamar Free Fair on Facebook for the
entire fair schedule and updates.

S

Left: As of July 13, the Lamar Free Fair is scheduled for Aug. 8 through Sept. 6 but please refer to the contact information at the end of this article for
further information. Right: Rotary Fair Queen Abigail Compton hands out awards to livestock show winners during the fair this past August.
AUGUST 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

9


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Rural Missouri - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - August 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - August 2020 - 9
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Rural Missouri - August 2020 - Cover3
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