Fair in Altenburg features popular mule jumping event

Sunday, September 27, 2009 ~ Updated 12:17 AM
James Strong of Scott City, Mo. coaxes his 5-year-old mule, Apple Jax, over the bar at the mule jumping event Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at the East Perry County Fair in Altenburg, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

People of all ages from across the area traveled to Altenburg this Friday and Saturday for the East Perry Community Fair. Events began Friday morning with a poultry- and rabbit-judging contest. This year's fair featured the same attractions as previous years, but there was one new event, a 4-H public speaking competition.

One of the fair's most popular events, mule jumping, started a half-hour later than scheduled due to a midafternoon rain shower but still featured 25 mules.

Jerry Menees of Scott City brought 12 mules to the jump, including a 28-year-old veteran.

"Tex has jumped in every mule jumping competition they have had at the Altenburg fair. This mule eats, sleeps and jumps," Menees said.

Many fair attendees said they especially look forward to mule jumping, including some first-time audience members.

Some attendees said the fair's food was a big draw.

"I am excited about the food. We just had some fish, but we have our eye on some other things," Altenburg resident David McDowell said.

For some, the fair itself is reason enough to attend.

"I was raised on the fair," Lowell Dreyer of Perryville, Mo., said. Although he has attended the fair many times, he said this was a good year and he noticed some improvements.

"This year there is one-way traffic going in and out of the fairgrounds. That is a big help. There is more parking, too," Dreyer said.

The fair featured a variety of activities including games, rides, business booths, live music, livestock sales, exhibitions and competitions, horse and steer shows, a parade and tractor pulls.

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