When area 4H and FFA members start checking in livestock and poultry for the 76th annual Livestock Show and Fair today, Fair Board President Joe O’Bar was expecting to have a problem, though it was one he didn’t mind having.

After the pre-registration process, O’Bar said, there were 109 kids committed to showing animals this year.

“That’s 62 head of cattle, 49 head of goats, 20 head of pigs, 28 sheep, over 230 pens of chickens, and 67 rabbits,” O’Bar said.

To help remedy the issue O’Bar acquired donations to build a new pole barn between the poultry barn and the stock yard/W.C. Littlefield Building.

Poles were set last Monday, with rafters and the tin roof added on Wednesday. Completion of the project was expected over the weekend or on Monday of this week, Labor Day, just in time for the start of the fair on Tuesday.

O’Bar said the barn would be used for excess cattle and rabbits.

O’Bar and Daniel Johnson were also busy Thursday completing a remodeling project in what will be the concession kitchen at the A.B. Littlefield Building.

The area has a new floor, insulation, ceiling, and appliances.

O’Bar said all concessions this year will be served through the kitchen, which has both outside service as well as a new Dutch door inside allowing for walk up service.

Donors to the projects, O’Bar said last week, included Floyd Parnell, who was the primary donor for the barn, Clay and Tom Wiggins, Dr. Andy and Dr. Bill Daniel, Brett Foster, Pete and Pat Viktola, Lee Posey, Raymond Turner, Steve Hawkins, Tim Goers, Heath and Rachel Ewing, Nikki Parker and Delia Turner.

Most of the fair’s traditional lineup of activities are back, including the free chuckwagon dinner, sponsored by First Western Bank, on Thursday night and the 4H pullet auction on Saturday afternoon. (A complete schedule is located inside today’s paper).

A returning attraction this year will be the Arkansas Game & Fish Aquarium which will be on site starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

The fair and livestock show will continue through Saturday night when the premium sale will be held.

Admission to the fair is $2 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under each night.

The annual fair actually got underway last night. Opening day events at the fair included booth assembly and the check-in period for home economics exhibits, with the exception of house plants, and judging of baked goods.

The Tuesday schedule also included the annual hay show and the 13th annual kids show-de-o, both of which are sponsored by First Western Bank.