July 23, 2014 | 09:42 AM
Fair week in Harrison County is almost inevitably always the hottest week of the year. However, this year for the 155th version, after a warm start for the parade, fairgoers barely broke a sweat while enjoying the grandstand entertainment, rides, Midway or a stroll through the many booths and displays the rest of the week.
The cool temperatures helped ensure strong attendance for Indiana's longest consecutive running fair.
"I think it's one of the best fairs we've ever had," fair board vice president C. Todd Uhl said. "We were blessed with nice weather. People are in a better mood when it's not 95 degrees and humid."
4-H members keep their swines moving in front of the judge during last Wednesday's show.
Uhl thanked all of the volunteers, fair board members and attendees for the great week. He said the new board members, Adam Camm and Doug Henricksen, have brought energy and new ideas to the board and he said they were already talking about next year on Saturday night.
The midweek temperatures, which barely reached the mid-to-high 70s, had some attendees reaching for light jackets and hoodies.
Carla Clunie, fair board clerk, said the weather was amazing which helped with the great attendance, especially with the open shows.
"Open show dairy cattle was up with 47 more cattle and open beef show was up 51 cattle," she said. "Our national meat goat (boar goat) show had attendance from several states."
She said the fair board is writing grants and seeking money for several projects including the Homecomers Hall and other buildings.
"Watch for some big things at the fairgrounds," she said.
Thursday evening of fair week often draws the largest crowd for the Big Car Demolition Derby, and this year was no different, with hardly an open seat to be found in the grandstand.
The night included a new event, the Power Wheels Derby for children, which proved to be a success.
"It seemed like it was a hit," Camm said.
Camm also said he was happy with the participation in the flat-drag races on Tuesday night (sponsored by Southern Indiana Equipment), for a first-year event.
"Next year will be even better," he said.
Camm said he thought the fair ended strong with the Lucas Oil-sponsored tractor pull Saturday night that was well-attended and operated smoothly.
Scott Trowbridge, owner of the Wiener King, said pork wieners, brats and pork burgers sold well but the cooler temperatures brought down sales of water and soft drinks.
"I'm guessing vendors selling ice cream and snow cones struggled a bit," he said.
Speaking about the fair in general, Trowbridge said it was very well run this year.
"I didn't hear a single complaint about the amusement ride company, and I didn't hear any rude or obnoxious sales tactics from their operators," he said. "I love working the Harrison County Fair; it's like home."
The ride and Midway company used was Carnival Tyme Amusements.
On the 4-H side of the fair, Charlie Sieberns, superintendent of 4-H beef, said it was a great fair.
Rodney Bruce, founder of a recreational retreat for servicemen and women called Hero Reward, said their booth saw quite a bit of traffic and sold a good number of tickets for their September car raffle (for more information about the raffle, visit online at heroreward.com).
The O'Bannon Woods State Park exhibit was popular in the merchants area, where children could touch a 20-year-old rat snake. Park employee Rachel Bacher said the snake has been one of the best the park has ever had. The exhibit included a number of other non-venomous snakes.
The annual baby contest took place Friday evening in the 4-H building. First- and second-place finishers were:
0 to 5 months — boys, Kase Hall, first; Myles Kinney, second; girls, Brynlee Badger, first; Sadie Lynn Engleman, second;
6 to 11 months — boys, Kaiden Windell, first; Landen Harl, second; girls, Emma Evans, first; Bryleigh Wisman, second;
12 to 17 months — boys, Camden Wright, first; Logan and Landon Wathen, second; girls, Katrina Nycole Wilson, first; Brailee Brewster, second; and
18 to 24 months — boys, Lincoln Nixe, first; Ruger Roberts, second; girls, Paisley Brown, first; Annabella Knepp, second.