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Fair sticks to success formula: ‘fire and smoke’

This year’s Harrison County Fair will pack ’em in with the same kind of entertainment that fascinated cavemen: fire and smoke.
What have become the fair’s most popular events — the “Demo Derbies” on Monday and Thursday nights, the truck pull on Friday night, and Saturday night’s main event, the tractor pull (with a $5,000 cash give-a-way) — are expected to be the big draws of the 142nd Harrison County Fair, from Sunday through Aug. 4.
“Fire and smoke, that’s what draws them,” said fair board president Steve Haggard. People like it, and last year’s fair drew more than 20,000 people, Haggard said.
But some things are new, like large improvements at the 4-H barns. Additions have been made, with new concrete floor pens, new wash-racks for the animals, mud-prevention systems, and freshly painted barns.
“Give the 4-H a big pat on the back because they are the ones who worked so hard,” Haggard said. Referring to the north end of the fairgrounds, he said, “You should go over there, because it’s completely been reworked.”
The fair will kick off with a rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the night of, and $6 for children.
The grandstand will open Sunday night for the parade and the Harrison County Queen Contest. The parade begins at 7 p.m.; admission is $3 for entrance, on Sunday only. On all other nights, admission will be $7 and will include parking, Midway rides, general admission grandstand seating, and entrance into the nightly cash give-a-way contests.
Thirteen young women are entered in this year’s queen contest. (See photo page two). They are:
Denae Ball, 17, is the daughter of Suszanne Hopnf of New Salisbury. She will be a senior at North Harrison High School and is sponsored by Scott T. Miller
Kayla Bary will be a junior at NHHS. The 16-year-old is the daughter of Elizabeth and Delbert Bary of Ramsey. Her sponsor is Bush Trucking Co. and Woman Care Midwifery Services.
Tiffany Jones, 16, who will be a junior at Corydon Central High School, is sponsored by Jay C Food Store. Her parents are Cindy and Tom Stein of Corydon.
Sarah Litch, 18, is the daughter of Darrell and Pamela Litch of Lanesville. She is a 2001 graduate of Lanesville Junior-Senior High School and is sponsored by the Lanesville Heritage Weekend Committee.
Brittany Long is a 2001 graduate of CCHS. The 18-year-old is the daughter of Ann Clark and Jess Long Sr., both of Corydon. Her sponsor is Kintner’s Photography.
Liz Marshall, 17, who will be a senior at CCHS, is sponsored by Old Capital Golf Club. Her parents are Sandy and Gary Cooper of Corydon and John Marshall of Indianapolis.
Laura Mathes, 18, is the daughter of Eldon and Sharon Mathes of Corydon. She is a 2001 graduate of CCHS and is sponsored by Mary Kay Senior Sales Director Sharon Mathes.
Heather Payne will be a senior at CCHS. The 16-year-old is the daughter of Brian and Kathy Payne of Corydon. Her sponsors are Heart & Soul Florist and FGB Images.
Dianna Tapp, 16, who will be a senior at NHHS, is sponsored by Ramsey Popcorn. Her parents are Bob and Kristina Wright of Ramsey
Gail Toney, 19, is the daughter of Richard Toney and Joyce Toney, both of Corydon. She is a 2001 graduate of CCHS and is sponsored by Roy Hall Construction.
Andrea Tucker is a 2001 graduate of NHHS. The 18-year-old is the daughter of Tony and Beverly Tucker of Georgetown. Her sponsor is Accu-Chek Herschel Smith.
Crystal Whittaker, 18, is a 2001 graduate of NHHS and is sponsored by Whittaker Horseshoeing. Her parents are Barry and Michelle Whittaker of Depauw.
Tiffany Woolems, 17, is the daughter of Richard and Marina Woolems of Palmyra. She will be a senior at Providence High School and is sponsored by Bowsman Construction Inc.
Thursday will be Old Timers Day, with free admission for senior citizens until 5 p.m. This will include free grandstand admission for harness races that begin at 1 p.m.
For those not interested in rides and grandstand performances, they can enter before the gates open to see livestock, 4-H and homemaker exhibits and the like. Gates open Monday through Wednesday at 4 p.m., and at noon Thursday through Saturday. Those admitted before the gates open will not have the hand stamp required for rides and grandstand entry.
“I suggest to the people who want to come to the fair just to talk to come early before we start charging at the gates,” said fair board vice president Carl (Buck) Mathes.
A drawing for cash at the grandstand will be held each night at 9:30, and the winner must be present to win. $1,000 will be given away each night Monday through Thursday; it jumps to $2,000 on Friday, and on Saturday night the entire week’s entrants will be eligible for $5,000.
The Midway, by Interstate Amusements of America, will open at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon on Saturday, Aug. 4.
The 4-H exhibit building will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday, and will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The 4-H barns will be open throughout the week, with the 4-H livestock auction starting at 6 p.m. Friday.
Haggard encouraged people to attend what he called “the fun things,” or those events that don’t get as much attention but are, nevertheless, a good time.
The pie eating contest will take place at the intermission of Monday’s Demo Derby. The third annual rooster crowing, hog, and cattle calling contests are Wednesday night. Thursday will feature a peach pie contest with pies auctioned after the judging, a buggy race after the harness racing, and a “Taste of Harrison County” from 6 to 8 p.m.
“If anyone has never seen the antique tractor games on Saturday afternoon, then they should come see that, because it’s fun,” Haggard said.
Mathes said he expects Friday night’s truck pull to attract the largest crowd.
“Truck pulls at other county fairs this summer have had record turnout of trucks and attendance,” Mathes said. He also expects the Demolition Derbies to be large, in part due to the marketing of Terry Eaglin. Eaglin has been promoting Demo Derbies for 15 years, Mathes said, and he sends newsletters to his followers, mainly pulling participants from all over Southern Indiana, northern Kentucky, and parts of Ohio.
Those wishing to participate in the parade are asked to assemble at 6 p.m. on the north side of town. Riding floats and walking participants should meet at the Corydon Baptist Church; queen contestants will assemble in the Keller Manufacturing Co. parking lot; horses congregate at the Keller soccer field, and cars meet at Blue River Services. Judging will take place from 6 to 6:30 p.m.. Those arriving after 6:30 will not be included in judging.
Grandstand highlights throughout the week are:
* Monday: Mini-car and pick-up truck Demolition Derbies, 7:30 p.m.
* Tuesday: Carol Kline’s Tribute to Patsy Cline at 7 p.m. and The Sonshiners traditional gospel quartet at 8 p.m.
* Wednesday: Corydon Jamboree with Lee Parr King and The Broken Hearts Band, 7:30 p.m.
* Thursday: Big sedan Demolition Derby, 7:30 p.m.
* Friday: Truck pull, 7 p.m. $2,000 give-a-way at 9:30 p.m.
* Saturday: Tractor pull, 7 p.m. $5,000 give-a-way at 9:30, with all entrants from the entire week eligible.