Five things to know about the Grain Valley Fair

1. The annual Grain Valley Fair runs from tonight through late Saturday. It’s behind the Community Center at 713 S. Main St. “This is probably the biggest event, not school-related, in the community,” said Zach Pross, interim executive director of the Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. Hours are 5 to 9 tonight, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday. Admission is free.

2. It’s designed to be family friendly. Tonight is family night at the pavilion, with food, games, face painting, music and a photo booth. There’s a petting zoo and pony rides throughout the event. The beer garden and entertainment for the grownups has been moved to the west softball field to make more room for the Kidz Street and room to sit and eat near the pavilion without loud music.

3. The parade is an annual highlght, with more than 30 entries this year. It’s at 10 a.m. Saturday and begins and ends at the high school. The theme is superheroes. The route is east of Eagles Parkway, north on Buckner-Tarsney Road, west on Walnut and south on Kirby. “The parade is probably the most popular part of it,” Pross said.

4. There are attractions for a variety of people. Carnival hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today, 4 p.m. to close Friday and 11 a.m. to close Saturday. Unlimited access wristbands are $20. Bingo is held inside the air-conditioned Community Center from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Lozinsleep plays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the beer garden, and then two cover bands go from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. Those are Silver Bullet (Bob Seger) and Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi). Saturday’s acts are Hazzard County 5 at 6 p.m. and County Road 5 at 8:30.

5. Access shouldn’t be a problem. The Missouri Department of Transportation is in the midst of a major construction and realignment work at and near Interstate 70, but the entrances to the Community Center – behind City Hall on Main Street – are clear. The ramps on and off I-70 are still a mess, so if you’re coming from outside the city, you might give yourself an extra five minutes to get there, Pross said. “All of the entrances here at City Hall are open,” he said.

– Jeff Fox