By Don Lowe 

   It’s time once again for one of this state’s well-known celebrations as the Lamar Free Fair is set to provide plenty of appealing attractions for residents and visitors alike to enjoy later this month. 

   “It’s a free fair,” says Edwin Moore, who serves as co-manager of this event with his brother, Terry. “What we mean by that is there’s no charge for parking or admission to get into the fair. 

   “The only charge for people is for the food and the carnival. We also have local entertainment and that is free as well.” 

   There’s a wide range of activities, including a carnival, antique car, truck and motorcycle show, antique tractor show, livestock show, swine show, sheep show, 5/10K runs, exhibits and a parade, among many others. 

   “Our food vendors are the local clubs, schools and churches,” Moore says. “Keeping the food vendors local means money stays local to help different organizations.” 

   This is a big deal for the Moore brothers as they have played instrumental roles in helping put this fair together for more than 50 years. Moore recalls, “It got started around 1943. Our dad, Bud Moore, oversaw it until his death in 1968. 

   “My brother, Terry, and me were asked to take it over and we have been doing it ever since. All the local businesses supported the fair back then, just like they do today.” 

   When it comes to planning and organizing, Moore says, “My brother and me, along with our fair secretary, Becky Costley, as well as the Lamar Chamber of Commerce and Lamar Democrat help get the fair started each year. 

   “During the fair, all our help comes from volunteers. They are the people that make this happen for us every year.” 

   This community of about 4,000 in Barton County goes all out for this annual extravaganza, and Moore assures, “This fair is so important to our town. We advertise it as being Missouri’s largest free fair. It raises money for several different organizations and all that money helps with scholarships and other events. 

   “It is also the last hoorah for the summer. School will be starting, and fall is coming soon. Beginning in February, we start the process all over again. It is great fun for all.” 

   As he reflects on the close connection his family has maintained with this fair from when it all began, Moore says, “My brother and I have been doing this for 56 years. We are proud to do this and carry on our dad’s legacy. It is a great event for everyone.”   

80th Annual Lamar Free Fair Schedule (Aug. 12/Aug. 18-26/Sept. 4)

Sat., Aug. 12

Rotary Princess & Pre-Teen Pageant, Thiebaud Auditorium at 4 p.m.

Rotary Teen & Queen Pageant, Thiebaud Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 18

Lamar PBR 8-Second Chute Out*, Freeman Outdoor Event Center/8 p.m. (Gates open at 6:30 p.m.)    

Sat., Aug. 19

Lamar Art League Exhibits Entered, Thiebaud Auditorium/9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Lamar PBR 8-Second Chute Out*, Freeman Outdoor Event Center/8 p.m. (Gates open at 6:30 p.m.)

Sun., Aug. 20

Community Worship Service, west side of square/7 p.m.

Mon., Aug. 21

Window Hobby Show Registration, Lamar Bank & Trust/9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Judging on Wed.)

Antique Tractor Rodeo, Lamar Saddle Club Grounds/5:30 p.m.

Tues., Aug. 22

Carnival & Food Vendors Set Up, Lamar square/6 p.m.

4-H Exhibits Entered & Conference Judging, Thiebaud Auditorium/6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Wed., Aug. 23

Carnival & Rides Open (Wed.-Fri./6-11 p.m.; Sat./12-5 p.m. & 6 p.m.-closing)

Vendors Set Up, south side of square starting at 9 a.m.

Gospel Sing, Thiebaud Auditorium/7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. Pre-Show)

4-H Youth Demonstrations, Thiebaud Auditorium Foyer/6-8 p.m.

All Livestock Check-In, Moore Pavilion before 9 p.m.

Thurs., Aug. 24

Swine Show, Moore Pavilion/8 a.m.

BC Historical Society Museum, courthouse basement/1-9 p.m.

Goat Show, Moore Pavilion/2 p.m.

Youth Livestock Judging Contest, Moore Pavilion/6:30 p.m.

The Lesters, Thiebaud Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Memorial Hall Exhibits Entered, Memorial Hall/8 a.m.-2 p.m. (Judging at 2 p.m.)

Fri., Aug. 25

Beef Show, Moore Pavilion/7:30 a.m.

Bucket Calf Show, Moore Pavilion (During Beef Show)

Baby Show, Thiebaud Auditorium/9 a.m. (Judging at 10 a.m.)

Antique Tractor Show, BC Memorial Park/9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Lamar Art League Art Exhibition, Thiebaud Auditorium’s West Room/noon-8 p.m.

BC Historical Society Museum, Courthouse Basement/1-9 p.m.

Sheep Show, Moore Pavilion/1 p.m.

Livestock Auction, Moore Pavilion/7 p.m.

Sheep Leadline, Moore Pavilion (After Livestock Auction)

Sat., Aug. 26

5/10K Run, east side of square/7:30 a.m.

Livestock Showmanship, Moore Pavilion/9 a.m.

Lamar Art League Art Exhibition, Thiebaud Auditorium’s West Room/10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Antique Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show, Lamar City Park/10 a.m.-12 p.m. (Judging at noon)

Antique Tractor Show, BC Memorial Park/9 a.m.-2 p.m.

BC Historical Society Museum, Courthouse Basement/1-9 p.m.

Rotary Parade, Lamar Square/2 p.m. (Judging at 1:15 p.m.)

Sober As A Judge, Earp Pavilion/7 p.m.

Mon., Sept. 4

Youth Horse Show, Saddle Club Grounds/10 a.m.