KINCAID — On an overcast afternoon Wednesday four vehicles were parked on Commercial Street, the main thoroughfare here. The only noticeable outdoor activity was a U.S. flag fluttered atop its standard in front of the post office.
That will change dramatically Saturday when the 104th annual Kincaid Free Fair unfolds. The event has been heralded as being as close to a world’s fair as any small town in the nation could have.
Kincaid’s population is expected to swell from 122 to a couple of thousand, noted Roberta Aubuchon, in charge of this year’s queen competition.
For all intents and purposes, the fair is a homecoming.
Aubuchon and Irene Louk were on hand Wednesday afternoon to prep the building that will be filled with all sorts of flowers and arrangements by the time the sun rises Saturday.
“These buildings are old, but we’re lucky to have them,” said Louk of the flower emporium and a couple of others nearby.
Absent from this year’s fair will be Randal Beckman, longtime parade announcer. Beckman and his son, Nathan, were injured in a truck wreck in the Blue Mound area last Friday.
The accident and that fact that corn on the Beckman’s farm was yet to be cut, serves as a metaphor for the community spirit that has made the annual fair such as success.
When services let out Sunday at Kincaid United Methodist, a covey of farmers darted home to gather up combines and grain trucks. Before long, the Beckman fields had been cut.
That’s the way it is with the fair, Aubuchon said. When it comes time to get it up and going, no one has to be asked twice to come help.
“Everyone shows up,” she said.
THE FAIR starts today with a free bean and watermelon feed at 5 p.m., followed by a children’s cash grab and a pedal tractor pull.
Exhibits will be judged Friday, with bingo taking center stage that evening, along with a pie baking contest and auction.
Saturday activities start bright and early with registration at 7 a.m. for the 8 o’clock 2.5K walk and 5K run.
Commercial, craft and small antiques booths will be available all day. Horseshoe pitching starts at 9 a.m. and the parade begins at 1:30, preceded by crowning of the queen. Children’s games, turtle races and a garden tractor pull will follow the parade.
Crimson, the Queen of Comedy Hypnosis, will entertain Saturday evening, starting at 7 o’clock.
And as always, Toby’s Carnival, an entertainment mainstay from Arma, will be on hand.