Fair swings into town this weekend

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By Mallory Bilger

From mom’s best pint of of string beans to a ride on the ferris wheel, the Spencer County Fair returns to town Friday, promising the opportunity of family fun for everyone.

The 2012 fair is scheduled for July 20-21 and 24-28. Fair Board President Dwight Martin said he is excited for this year’s fair because several improvements have been made to the fairgrounds, including the welcome addition of air conditioning in the exhibit hall and pavilion.
The fair board also welcomes Casey’s Rides, which will operate around 20 rides for all ages. Martin said he was pleased the board was able to secure Casey’s, because it had a good reputation of being a quality ride company. He said the company had not provided the rides at the fair since the late ‘90s and he was looking forward to welcoming them back.
“They are trying to bring more this year,” Martin said regarding the rides. He noted that there would be around eight or nine rides appropriate for teens and adults, and the other rides would be for smaller children.
Also new this year will be KOI drag racing on Friday night, Kentucky Truck Pullers Association’s truck and tractor pull July 26, the sheep show and the Western Horse Show. Local band Judge Angus will perform on family night. For a full list of events, see page A-11.
Martin said the renovations to the grounds should make the fair more appealing to those who cannot stay out in the heat for long periods.
“We’re planning on having the facility where people can see it, so they can look and see what we’ve done,” he said. “The pageants will be in the pavilion, and the pavilion is air conditioned also. Based upon attendance, we’re planning on letting the doors be closed and let it be air conditioned.”
Martin encouraged families to attend together, noting that during ride nights July 24-28, the $10 gate admission includes unlimited rides. There is no additional ticket cost for rides.
“We’re the same on price. To me, that should be a big draw. It is just one price here at our fair,” he said, noting that many other county fairs require that patrons purchase ride tickets in addition to the gate admission.
Fair board member Pam Karrer said the fair has a rich history and reputation for being the epitome of the values Spencer County embodies.
“The county fair is the time to show off your livestock, culinary skills, along with flowers, sewing, vegetables and more,” she said. “It is a time of renewing old friendships with past neighbors and family members.”
From horse shows, to exhibits, livestock exhibitions to pageants, musical guests and more, Martin said the fair has something for all ages. He said the fair’s success lies almost solely on the community, and, that if Spencer County wanted a quality fair, it needed support. He said Casey’s Rides would not decide if it was returning next year until it experienced this year’s fair attendance.
“We’re hoping it’s going to be up,” Martin said of fair attendance.
Ellen Redmon is a director on the fair board and said the organization has a lot to celebrate this year, including the facility upgrades. There will be a ribbon cutting on July 25 at 7 p.m. during the fair to celebrate the fairgrounds’ facelift. Representatives from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will be on hand for the ceremony.
“Spencer County does not have a lot of activities for the family to do. The fair is an event for all ages and my goal, as a director, is to try to have a blend of activities for everyone,” Redmon said.
For additional fair information, fair catalogs are available at The Spencer Magnet. The fair also has a website at www.spencercountyfair.org and a Facebook page under Spencer County Fair.
Gate admission is $10 every night except July 20, family night, on which admission will be $5. All the pageants have been moved to Tuesday evening.