Sneak a free peek at the Head of the Lakes Fair in Superior starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 16. Visit the livestock barn; see poultry and rabbits on display; view local photographs, artwork and more as the smell of fair food fills the air.

More than 2,300 projects will be on display at the fair this year, including 630 open-class photography entries, an alpaca, a miniature donkey, decorated cakes, flowers and an afghan in the art of Swedish weaving.

It’s a chance for both 4-H club and community members to shine. Judging takes place Wednesday, July 17.

The positive feedback people who enter a project receive can make a big impact, whether it’s a judge’s comments or a compliment from someone who liked their work.

Cloverland's Pat Luostari, a leader of the Clover Country 4-H Club, said members are sometimes nervous about displaying their projects for the public.

“But then they get out there and people cheer, and people clap and people say 'good job' and the positive feeling washes over them and they’re hooked,” Luostari said. “The poise and self-assurance they get from making themselves do those things is vital.

“I just see them grow so much," Luostari said.

Ailie Clemmer, 9, left, of Maple, and Jillian Romich, 10, of Cloverland, sweep out the Poultry and Rabbit Barn at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds in Superior on Monday afternoon to get ready for the fair which begins Tuesday. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Ailie Clemmer, 9, left, of Maple, and Jillian Romich, 10, of Cloverland, sweep out the Poultry and Rabbit Barn at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds in Superior on Monday afternoon to get ready for the fair which begins Tuesday. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Get in the driver's seat at Gondik

Car enthusiasts will also have a chance to earn some recognition. Spectator drag races will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 17. Drivers age 16 and older can take their own vehicle for a lap around the Gondik Law Speedway, with prizes given to the fastest lap time in five categories, from compact cars to large trucks.

Fair secretary Joanne O’Brien said race track organizers have been getting a lot of interested calls about the event.

“We’re hoping we get a lot of cars,” she said.

Participants must have a helmet, use a seat belt and either own or have permission to drive the vehicle. Drivers can only drive one vehicle; a vehicle can only be used by one driver. There is a $20 fee for drivers or anyone else going into the pit area. Spectators can watch for free with fair admission.

Children will get a chance to take a spin on the dirt race track as well. Kids bike races begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at Gondik.

Talented kids, horses take stage

A classic car show, horse show, senior bingo and the beef auction take place Thursday, July 18, and Kids Day is Friday, July 19. Events include a spray paint demonstration, children’s pedal tractor pull, a hands-on “farmer for a day” exhibit, bounce house, hay rides and more.

The state-qualifying talent show Saturday, July 20, at 1 p.m. has two age brackets. Children ages 2-18 are encouraged to share their skills in music, magic, gymnastics, singing, animal training and more. Winners move on to the Wisconsin State Fair and entries will be taken through the day of the event.

A kids demolition derby will be held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21, prior to the demolition derby at 2 p.m.

The Calkins United Shows midway opens with the gates at 5 p.m. Tuesday and runs through Sunday afternoon. The petting zoo will be open every day as well. Admission is free for children age 12 and under every day.

Visit headofthelakesfair.com or the Head of the Lakes Fair Facebook page for more information.