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2007 fair expands by a few days

The Harrison County Fair ‘ billed as the oldest, continuous fair in the state ‘ will stretch a few days longer in 2007 to meet the needs of the various groups that exhibit items.
‘We’re just glad that we’re able to try and accommodate everyone,’ said Jim Cavins, treasurer of the Harrison County Agricultural Society, the group that owns the fairgrounds in Corydon. ‘We had all sides represented.’
Representatives from numerous groups, including the fair board, Harrison County Extension Office and 4-H, and FFA met Aug. 30 to brainstorm in hopes of finding a solution to complaints about the fair and its board, with the major grumbling being the date of the fair, which coincides with the start of school and conflicts with the Indiana State Fair.
Since that gathering of about 80 people, a committee has been meeting regularly to consider options that would help improve the situation which had some disgruntled workers and exhibitors talking about purchasing land and starting their own fair.
Instead, the fair board has given permission for the 4-H program to begin its exhibitions earlier in 2007.
‘This will be a pilot program to see how well an earlier 4-H Exhibition serves the needs of members,’ said Linda Jones, Extension educator and 4-H youth development director.
Cavins said the fair board was unable to change the entire county fair to an earlier date because of its contract with the carnival company. That contract expires in three years.
Based on what the groups were able to work out, the traditional county fair will begin Sunday, July 29, with the annual parade, and will continue through Saturday, Aug. 4. This includes the carnival and amusements, FFA Yellow Brick Road, open-class exhibits in Homecomers Hall, Extension homemaker activities, and the merchants’ events and exhibits.
The 4-H exhibitions will open on Friday, July 27, and conclude on Wednesday, Aug. 1, in 2007.
‘Essentially, most activities will be moved two days earlier than in recent years,’ said Jones.
While a detailed schedule of the 4-H events and FFA livestock shows is available from the Harrison County Extension office, here are the dates and times for a few 4-H highlights: Check-in of projects takes place Tuesday, July 24, from 7 to 9 p.m., with animal check-in time, for most species, begins Thursday evening, July 26, and ends Friday, July 27, at 9 p.m. (Rabbits and poultry must be checked in by 6 p.m. that Friday.) Animal weigh-in will be the following Saturday morning. The annual Livestock Auction will be Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m. Exhibit Hall project check-out will be Aug. 1 from 9 to 11 p.m., as well as on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 9 to 10 a.m.
‘It is the hope of the Extension board and 4-H Council that this new schedule will be a positive response to many of the comments heard over the years and specifically at the community meeting,’ Jones said. ‘Earlier dates will better accommodate 4-H members that begin school the week of the Harrison County Fair, as well as parents and volunteers that are teachers that must report back to their classrooms.
‘Family members will now have four evenings instead of two to view 4-H projects eligible for the Indiana State Fair in the Exhibit Hall,’ she said.
‘Family members that work Monday through Friday will now have two full days to spend with their children at the fair without taking time off of work. Livestock sold in the Livestock Auction on Wednesday night will now be able to be shipped and processed immediately instead of being held two days. Members that participate in Indiana State Fair activities will now have fewer events directly conflicting with our exhibition dates.’
Also, as a result of the August brainstorming session, a subcommittee was formed to develop a long-range plan and master site plan for the Harrison County Fairgrounds’ physical structures and purpose. That group’s next meeting will be Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Harrison County Annex Conference Room.
The Harrison County Agricultural Society recently asked Todd Uhl to join the fair board. He succeeds longtime member Steve Haggard, who recently resigned, Cavins said.
Haggard, who was reelected president of the fair board earlier this month then decided to resign, said he did so because he thought it was ‘time for new blood on the board.’
Cavins said a new president will probably be elected in the next few months. Abner said the new fair schedule will continue to be refined and made available.
‘We hope this gets us through this year,’ Cavins said.
For more information regarding the 2007 4-H exhibition dates, contact the Extension office at 738-4236.

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