Boone County Fair officials hoping for good weather, crowd of 200,000
By: Susan Vela
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

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BELVIDERE — Lyle Lee never tires of his favorite Boone County Fair memories.

The Boone County Fair Association president brings out a picture of a wide-eyed granddaughter at a bull-riding exhibit.

“That expression on their face — the awe that you get right there — just talking about it raises goose pimples on my arms,” said Lee, on the fair board since 1992. “That’s my satisfaction and pay for doing this — just to see the expressions on the kids’ faces, the happiness.

“Them kind of expressions are priceless.”

Fair board members, along with thousands of exhibitors and about 1,000 volunteers are preparing for the Boone County Fair, which runs Tuesday to Sunday and is considered by Illinois Country Living Magazine to be one of the best county fairs in the state.

Vicki Donley of Alpaca Pines Farm and Fiber Mill has organized the first alpaca show. There will be at least 10 alpacas during the Aug. 13 exhibit. She’ll also feature a booth with products featuring alpaca fibers, including toys, stuffed animals and yarn.

“It’s a very special year,” she said. “I am very excited, very nervous. This is actually becoming a reality after all the begging (and) the pleading with the fair board.”

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