MONMOUTH — Take a fast horse, a deft rider, throw in some barrels and you’ve got yourself the makings of a keystone event at this year’s Monmouth Fair.

This year’s fair, which starts Wednesday and runs through Saturday, will be highlighted again by horse barrel racing — the second year for the event at the Monmouth Fair, Fair Association President Phil Butterfield said.

It’s the first year the event is connected to the National Barrel Racing Association. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.

“We’re hoping that is something that is going to progress along each year and become kind of a main attraction for us,” Butterfield said.

Even with new entertainment, those who love the tradition of the fair will not be disappointed. The fair will once again live up to its slogan, “A little fair with a lot of pull.”

“The rest of the schedule is pretty much the same as it has been,” said Butterfield, who added that, if it has four legs or four wheels, you’re likely to find it pulling something during the fair.

Horse, steer and oxen pulls are scheduled each of the four days, a pedal tractor pull is scheduled for Wednesday and an antique tractor pull is set for Thursday.

“Horse pulling Saturday and steer and ox pulling are usually big draws,” Butterfield said.

Butterfield said roughly 50 exhibitors are setting up for the fair. Dozens of additional food and games will line the midway.

After three years away, Rhode Island-based Rockwell Amusements will return this year to provide the fair’s rides, Butterfield said.

“We’ve had them for many years,” he said. “They’re very known. They play several big fairs.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

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