Vendors, competitors, fairgoers glad to be back as Kansas State Fair kicks off in Hutchinson

Rusty Allen, the owner of the Original Corn Roast, said he's glad the fair is back because...
Rusty Allen, the owner of the Original Corn Roast, said he's glad the fair is back because being a fair food vendor is his only source of income.(KWCH)
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 3:55 PM CDT
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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) - After a year on hiatus, the Kansas State Fair is back.

It’s a much different site than last year when one of the biggest events in the state was canceled because of the pandemic. The fair kicked off Friday with vendors, competitors and fairgoers who say they are happy to have it back.

Most vendors travel around the nation to fairs state and county fairs. Rusty Allen, who owns The Original Corn Roast, said it’s his only source of income. He said so many of his friends lost their equipment and couldn’t afford to pay the bills.

Allen’s booth is located right across from the KWCH booth. He said he did one event before everything was shut down. Now, he’s excited to be back in business.

“That’s my only livelihood. That’s all we do. Good to be back? It’s good, good to be working again, finally going to fairs and making a living again,” said Allen.

The young people who show livestock or compete in the 4-H events are also glad to be back. They were able to do some shows last year, but now the crowds are back. For the kids, it’s all about educating the public and telling them all about agriculture in Kansas. They say it just feels good to have a sense of normalcy.

“Just to get back and for young people in ag it’s really important. It’s teaching and more than just showing sheep. It’s how to take losses and wins gracefully. Good to be back? Exciting to be back,” said Katrina Turner from Derby.

Eyewitness News’ Brityne Rucker was also at the fair on Friday highlighting some efforts of 4-H and helping to teach Special Olympic athletes what it’s like to show livestock.

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