ANDERSON — Organizers are gearing up for the 39th annual McDonald County Fair, set to begin Thursday and run until Saturday at the county fairgrounds near McDonald County High School in Anderson.

"Thursday is the first day of our fair, that is when during the morning, most of the exhibitors bring their basically indoor exhibits in, canning goods, fruits, vegetables, flowers, their artwork, woodworking, etc." said John Hobbs, a member of the county's fair board. "Also, livestock and poultry will come in all day and have to be in place by 6 p.m. on Thursday. At 8 p.m., Thursday is when the main part of our fair kicks in, that is when we have the princess and queen contest."

The fair is for everyone, noted Hobbs.

"Our intent is to have a youth fair for the youth of the county," he said. "It is open to all youth, we like to see 4-H and FFA members, but if you don't belong, you are still welcome to enter your exhibits. We do have adult exhibitors, too."

Livestock ranging from cattle to goats to poultry to pigs can be seen at this event.

Some of the activities are:

• Starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, a livestock judging contest will be held, at the show arena. Judging will consist of at least one and nor more than three classes of each species (sheep, beef, swine, dairy and goats). Awards will be given to the top three individuals in each age category (under 14, 14-19 and 19 and above). This is an individual judging contest;

• Special singing will be held on Friday and Saturday;

• Scarecrow contest, judging on Thursday morning;

• Tractor driving contest will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday. Each participant will be required to drive and back up a four-wheel trailer through an obstacle course. Trophies will be awarded to the first place in each division.

• Youth tractor pull from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday. This is open to ages 4 through 7-years-old. A parent or guardian must be with participant at the time of registration that night and at the pull area and must sign a waiver before the youth may compete. Trophies will be awarded to first place in each age division and rosettes will be awarded to second and third place in each division. All other contestants will receive participation ribbons.

Hobbs said there has been growth over the years at the fair.

"We have a fairly nice facility, we basically house everything except for the commercial exhibits under one roof, that makes it easy for folks to be able to come in and look at the fair exhibits," he said.

As to what Hobbs thinks about the fair participants returning to the fair, he mentioned the word "competition."

"There is definitely competition when you enter something to be judged against another item whatever it might be, whether it will be a baked cake or show hog," Hobbs said. "Sometimes, that competition gets into a person's blood and they like to compete as long as they are able to compete against others to see how good of a quality animal they can produce or how good of a cake they can bake to bring to the fair."