Fireball

Adventurous riders boarded the fireball, which spun riders around a giant loop at high speeds. (Ethan Becker/southernminn.com)

With the sun shining and good weather throughout the weekend, Janesville’s 2022 Hay Daze fair kicked off the string of fun events Waseca County will see this summer. The festivities began on Monday, June 13, with the Simply Saved Fashion Show at Trinity Lutheran Church Discipling Center, followed by Moonlight Bowling at Janesville Bowl the next day.

Sizzler 2

There were plenty of rides for parents who wanted to bring their kids to Hay Daze, including the sizzler, a favorite amongst fair-goers. (Ethan Becker/southernminn.com)

On Thursday there was the Miss Janesville Pageant at Faith Lutheran Church, a new location this year as the JWP auditorium is closed for some summer construction. The pageant was won by Ava Appel, with Ariana Aguilar winning first attendant. The two girls spent the rest of the weekend making appearances at the Hay Daze festivities, including participating in the bean bag toss tournament and kicking off the annual 5K Fun Run/Walk.

Miss Janesville pic

Miss Janesville Ava Appel, back left, and first attendant Ariana Aguilar helped kick off the kids 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday Morning. (Photo courtesy of Jess Oelke)

The weekend, beginning with the festivities on Friday, kicked off the main part of the fair, with the carnival midway opening at 6 p.m. The midway stretched down a portion of Main Street, and included carnival games such as the ring toss and an arm strength challenge, as well as including rides such as a kiddie roller coaster, a ferris wheel and the fireball roller coaster, which sent riders around a giant loop at high speeds.

Dad and daughter

Jeremiah Morsching and his daughter Ayla from Janesville get ready to ride to bee ride at the Hay Daze fair. The ride was perfect for parents to enjoy with their small kids. (Ethan Becker/southernminn.com)

At 6:30 on Friday, the bands began at the Guardian Energy Main Stage, right outside the Purple Goose Saloon, with Generation Gap taking the stage first. Following them, beginning around 9 p.m, IV Play, who have performed at Hay Daze before, headlined the Friday music acts.

Saturday saw the events beginning early with the Hay Daze Fun Run/Walk beginning at 8 a.m. Following that was a kickball tournament that took place at 11 a.m. at Lake Elysian Softball Fields, and then the adult bean bag tournament began at noon, with the midway opening at this time as well.

The music on Saturday began with In A Bind, who took the Main Stage at 4 p.m., and were then followed by the Family Tradition band at 6:30. The headliner for Saturday was Pop Rocks, a high-energy rock-and-roll band whose performance was complete with a light show and over 40 costume changes.

Special Attraction

A special attraction ride at Hay Daze raised riders high in the air before spinning their chairs around as they spun around at high speeds. (Ethan Becker/southernminn.com)

The festivities came to a close Sunday, but not before more fun events were held. The day began at 11 a.m. with an antique tractor display, with the Hay Daze parade beginning at 1 p.m. On the mainstage, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., was a magic show put on by Magic Jeff. According to the Hay Daze poster, this was his first visit to Hay Daze, but Magic Jeff has been performing for audiences for over 25 years.

IV Play bass

IV Play has appeared at Hay Daze in years past, and for the 2022 edition they headlined the Main Stage on Friday night, playing from 9 p.m. to midnight. (Ethan Becker/southernminn.com)

Janesville’s annual summer fair wrapped up on Sunday at 5 p.m., with temperatures peaking at 90 degrees.

Carter Quast

Carter Quast, one half of Generation Gap, performs on the Hay Daze Main Stage on Friday evening. Generation Gap was the first music act of the weekend. (Ethan Becker/southernminn.com)

Ethan Becker is a reporter for the Waseca County News. Reach him at (507) 333-3133.

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