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Fair serves as 'cornerstone' of 4-H

4-H projects are judged Wednesday at the McLean County Fair in Bloomington / EOCI photo.

BLOOMINGTON – Youth from throughout McLean County could be seen chatting with judges and sharing what they have learned through 4-H during opening day of the McLean County Fair Wednesday.

Bobbie Lewis-Sibley, director of the McLean-Livingston-Woodford University of Illinois Extension, says McLean County saw a jump in the number of clubs this year from 66 to 80. The county is still number one in the state when it comes to the number of 4-H’ers.

Projects on display at this week’s fair range from robotics and livestock to Legos and woodworking. All of the work can be seen in Cloverleaf Hall.

McLean County Fair Manager Mike Swartz says the number of livestock exhibitors is down about five percent but the number of exhibitors is up. Swartz notes a few changes this year.

“We changed the lineup a little bit, we only have one night of tractor and truck pulls,” Swartz said.

Nashville’s Walker Hayes is the big fair grandstand act this year and the demolition derby on Saturday night is expected to draw a big crowd. According to Swartz, there is also plenty of fair food to enjoy.

The McLean County Fair runs through Sunday at the Interstate Center grounds west of Bloomington. More information can be found at

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