ASHLAND -- The historic Ashland County Fair is fast approaching for the 168th year.
This year's event takes place Sept. 15 to 21 with entertainment all week, livestock showings and the typical smell and taste of fair food.
“I get excited for the fair every year, it’s a worthwhile thing for the whole community,” fair president Marty Wesner said. “To see the different aspects of agricultural community and not only agricultural but all the merchants that come and display their wares and the different businesses that are in the community.”
Headlining the entertainment will be Craig Morgan, a well-known country music artist, performing on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for grandstand seating and $25 for track seating.
Other grandstand entertainment throughout the week features the opening ceremonies all day Sunday, harness racing on Monday (6 p.m.), the lawnmower derby and truck/tractor pull on Wednesday (6 p.m.). Motocross is the headliner on Thursday (6 p.m.), the stock tractor pull takes place on Friday (5 p.m.), and Saturday will have a full day with the horse and pony hitch show (11 a.m.). The climax is the demolition derby at 7 p.m.
Wesner, in his fourth year as the fair president, said that new to the fair this year will be a rabbit barn that was just fully completed this week. Fairgoers will also notice new restrooms that were completed last year. The rabbit barn was made possible from many private donations, he noted. It should be in prime condition for the start of the fair.
Some of the main displays this year include the veterans building that will feature a “wall of honor.” That exhibit will display over 500 pictures sent in by the public of past or current military members. This is in addition to Veterans Day on Monday that will feature a Veterans Walk with a service to follow starting at 10:45 a.m.
The Buckeye barn will also have antique displays throughout the fair such as an antique fire truck, an antique Montgomery Ward wagon and numerous antique agricultural displays.
Along with a wood carver display, the fair is adding a glass blowing professional. Both of these demonstrations can be found on the west end of the fairgrounds.
“The fair really represents the largest industry in Ashland county which is agriculture and with that I think 4-H and the junior fair is really what drives this fair,” said Steve Englet, manager/secretary of the fair. “It’s all about building those kids, building their character and teaching them responsibility, and they respond to it.”
The Ashland County 4-H program has 750 to 800 children involved in either livestock or various other projects.
The typical fair food options are also a draw.
“A lot of people just wait from year to year just to come get the fair food,” Wesner said.
The fair board follows the mantra that fun should be the theme.
“What’s important to me is it took me six months after I came here to figure out what was driving the fair and what I call the guiding principles; to have the fair to be fun, educational, safe, clean and affordable,” Englet said.
For information on everything about the fair visit http://ashlandcountyfair.com/.
Here is the full schedule of events for the fair running Sept. 15-21:
SUNDAY– SEPT. 15-OPENING DAY
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Market Steer Showmanship Show—C
Noon-Opening Ceremonies –P
12:30 p.m.-Jr. Fair King/Queen Contest-P
12:30 p.m. Draft Horse Stable-In Fun Show– C
2 p.m.-Parade of Bands-G
3:45 p.m.-Ash-Fair Raceway Tribute-G
4 p.m.-Jr. Fair Market Turkey/Broiler Show—JP
4 p.m.-Jr. Fair Market Rabbit Show-RB
4 p.m.-Kiddie Tractor Pull-P
4 p.m.-K-9 Demonstration-C
5 p.m.-Skillet Throw (Men and Women)-C
6 p.m.-4-H Dog Demonstration-C
6 p.m.– Jammin’ Jumpers Jump Rope Team -P
6:30 p.m.-OSTPA Tractor Pull –G
7 p.m.-Jr. Fair Market Steer Show-C
MONDAY-SEPT. 16-VETERAN’S DAY
(Free Meal for Veteran’s Noon–6 p.m. )
8:30 a.m.-Jr. Fair Breeding Sheep Show-OSB
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Rabbit Show-RB
9 a.m.-Open Class Dairy Show-C
10 a.m.–Open Class Poultry Show-OP
10:45 a.m.-Walk of Honor-Begin at Veteran’s Bldg.
11 a.m.-Veteran’s Service-P By Hospice of NC Ohio
Speaker: Retired Sergeant Christian Bussler
11 a.m.-Jr. Fair Market Lamb Show-SP
Noon-Harness Racing (Pari-Mutuel)-G
12:30 p.m.– Dairy Benefit Auction-C
3 p.m.-Jr. Fair Saddle Horse Show-C
6 p.m.-Jr. Fair Goat Costume Contest-Goat Barn
6 p.m.-Human Antique Tractor Pull-Draft Horse Barn
6 p.m.-Jr. Fair Rabbit Costume Contest-RB
6 p.m.–Harness Racing (Pari-Mutuel)-G
7 p.m.– Nickel Plate Band-P
TUESDAY-SEPT. 17-SR.CITIZEN’S DAY
8 a.m.-Draft Horse/Pony Halter Show-C
8:30 a.m.-Jr. Fair Market Hog Show– SP
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Poultry Show-JP
Noon-Draft Horse/Pony Hitch Show-C
Noon-Kroc Center Dixieland Band-P
2 p.m.-Sr. King/Queen Contest-P
4 p.m.-7 p.m.-Robin Roseberry-Beer Garden
6 p.m.-Jr. Fair Baby Beef Show-C
7 p.m.– Concert-Craig Morgan-G
7 p.m.– 4-H Demo/Activities-P
WEDNESDAY-SEPT. 18-LADIES’ DAY
Theme: What’s Next?
(Special Programs 10a.m.-3 p.m.-Mozelle Hall & Pavilion)
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Saddle Horse Show-C
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Dairy/Market & Meat Goat Show-SP
9 a.m.-Open Class Sheep Show-OSB
6 p.m.-Lawnmower Derby, Truck Pull ,
and Stock Field Ready Tractor Pull–G
7 p.m.-Top Rail Band-P
THURSDAY –SEPT. 19
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Dairy Show-C
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Breeding Beef Show-C
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Beef & Dairy Feeder Show-C
9 a.m.-Jr. Fair Pygmy/Angora/Pack Harness-Goat-SP
10 a.m.-Diaper Derby-P
12:30 p.m. Open Class Beef Cattle Show-C
1:30 p.m.-Toddlers Foot Race-P
4 p.m.-Auction-Market Rabbit -C
4:30 p.m.-Auction-Market Turkey -C
5 p.m.-Auction-Market Broiler-C
5 p.m.-4-H Horse Fun Show-Paddock
6:30 p.m.-Auction-Market Steer, Then Baby Beef -C
7 p.m.-Red Ball Jets Band-P
8 p.m.-Little International Showmanship-C
FRIDAY-SEPT. 20-YOUTH DAY
8:30 a.m.-Auction-Market Hog -C
11:00 a.m.-Auction-Market & Meat Goat ,
then Market Lamb-C
Noon to 6 p.m.-COSI-by Veteran’s Building
1:30 p.m.-Small Car Race (2 to 4 Year Old)
5 p.m.-Stock Tractor Pull-G
(Antique Tractor Parade Prior Stock Tractor Pull)
7 p.m.-Draft Pony Pull-C
7 p.m.-Electric Circus Band-P
SATURDAY-SEPT. 21-DERBY DAY
9 a.m.-Open Goat Show-SP
11 a.m.-Open Draft Horse & Pony Hitch Show-G
1 p.m.-Fiddler’s Contest-P
2 p.m.-Auction-Buckeye Triangle
Woodcarver and Glass Blower Items
2 p.m.-Cheer Competition-C
4 p.m.-Auction-4-H Baked Goods-Veteran’s Building
4 p.m.-Backseat Driver Contest-G
5:30 p.m.-Fire Demonstration– AFD -G
6 p.m.-Demolition Derby-G
7 p.m.-County Line Band-P