Opening today in Oakwood: the five-day Vermilion County Fair, where the $6 price of admission gets you in the door and on any ride or attraction.
"If you don't eat, you don't have to spend another dime," Fair President RICK WHITE says. "Once you get past the front gate, we try to make everything as cheap as possible."
Here are just a few of the highlights of this year's event, which runs through Sunday.
HAIL TO THE QUEEN
ABBY FOSTER's road to last September's Miss America pageant included a 2016 coronation here. Hoping to follow in her footsteps at 6 tonight: a 10-contestant field of BEKAH ALLSOP, CASSIDY BRYANT, MEGAN BROWN, EMILY DUNCAN, ALEXIS NICHOLS, ALISSA NIXON, AN'RECIA PAYNE, MOLLY SMITH, JENNA TOMS and JADYN TURNER.
START YOUR ENGINES
After a decade-long absence, stock car racing returns to Kickapoo Motor Speedway on Thursday with modified and midgets class racing. If cycling is more your speed, the fair will auction off 33 bikes of all sizes each weeknight and throughout the weekend. Patrons are eligible — via a number on their bracelet — when they pay at the gate.
BEEF 'N BUTTERFLIES
Back at the fair: a 4-H lineup that includes projects ranging from decorating cakes to raising cattle. New at the fair: the Wish Upon a Butterfly Exhibit, with 600-plus of the pretty insects displayed in a 20-by-20-foot tent. Visitors will also have the chance to dip their finger in nectar provided to feed the butterflies.