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Jake Thompson shows his hog during the live animal meat sale at the 2015 Sauk County Fair. This year's celebration will feature a master showmanship competition, during which the top two showmanship exhibitors from dairy, beef, sheep, goat and swine categories will face off to determine who is the most well-rounded showman in the county.

Trucks, tractors and country music will convene in Baraboo as the Sauk County Fair begins next week.

The weeklong celebration will see the return of many popular events, along with several new additions.

Country singer Keith Anderson is this year’s musical headliner. He’ll perform at 7:30 p.m. July 15 in the Litscher Pavilion. Anderson is responsible for a slew of mid-2000s country hits like “Pickin’ Wildflowers,” “Every Time I Hear Your Name” and “XXL.” Admission to the show is $10.

While country headliners aren’t new at the fair, Sauk County Agricultural Society President Scott Zirzow said the stage will be located a bit closer to the bar than it was during past performances.

“We’re going to have it more outside the beer stand versus in front of the grandstand,” he said.

A new agricultural competition also will take place 10 a.m. July 16. During the contest, the top two showmanship exhibitors from dairy, beef, sheep, goat and swine categories will faceoff to determine who is the most well-rounded showman in the county. Unlike normal showmanship contests, the masters’ competition will ask competitors to answer questions about animals with which they may have little experience.

“If the kid grew up with just dairy, and knows only dairy, that would put them at a disadvantage in the master showman contest because they may get switched to pigs and be asked a question on that,” said Sauk County Agricultural Society secretary Liz Cook. “It’s a new challenge.”

Long before a master showman is crowned, many popular events will return to the fairgrounds as well.

The week-long celebration will begin 2 p.m. Monday with junior fair judging and a 7 p.m. cat show in the Badger Building. The junior fair will feature arts, crafts and other projects from about 475 exhibitors who are enrolled in 4-H, FFA and other educational youth organizations.

Cook said exhibitors speak one-on-one with judges during the junior fair, which highlights the educational components of their projects.

“The judge might ask, ‘What did you learn doing it? What would you do differently? How would you improve?’” she said. “Kids really do a self-evaluation on their project.”

Activities will heat up at 6 p.m. Tuesday with the fifth annual Ladies Night Out in the commercial building. Women get in the event for free and have the opportunity to shop and mingle. The antique and tractor pull will take place 7 p.m. as well.

The carnival opens 4 p.m. Wednesday, and livestock showing will take place throughout the week. The market animal sale will take place at 1 p.m. July 15. Additionally, ATV races, tractor, truck and horse pulls, food and local music will highlight each night’s festivities.

“We’ve got events every night of the week this year,” Zirzow said. “We’re ready and looking forward to next week.”

Follow Jake Prinsen on Twitter @prinsenjake

Baraboo News Republic Reporter