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County fair celebrates landmark year

The Harrison County Fair returns to Corydon to celebrate its 150th year. With it will be some new events as well as tried-and-true favorites.
‘Something we’re very excited about is the motocross races,’ Kathy Robson, who is serving her first year on the Harrison County Agriculture Society and is the board secretary, said. ‘It will be Tuesday night (July 28), and we need local participants.’
There will be several classes, based on bike sizes, and an open class. The entry fee is $10 per class. For more information, contact Brian Engleman at 1-812-697-0775.
‘Another new thing we’re really excited about is the gospel sing and family drama’ scheduled for Wednesday night, July 29, on the grandstand and presented by Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon.
The fair ‘ the oldest, continuous county fair in the state ‘ will begin Sunday, July 26. While a few events will take place that afternoon, the big draw for the day will be the annual parade and the crowning of the Little Miss and Master and Miss Harrison County fair queen. Winners of the Little Miss and Master contest will be announced at 7 p.m. followed by the announcement of the fair queen at 8. (See next week’s newspaper for the fair queen candidates.)
There will be no gate admission that day; however, there will be a $3 general admission fee to the grandstand.
Entrants for the parade need not preregister. The parade will start at 7 p.m. near the North Bridge and will continue south on Capitol Avenue into the fairgrounds.
Admission to the fair on the remaining days will be $8, which includes parking, general admission seating in the grandstand, unlimited rides on the Midway and an entry in the nightly cash giveaway, which will be $1,500 Monday through Thursday, July 27 through 30, $2,000 Friday night, July 31, and $3,000 Saturday night, Aug. 1, the last night of the fair. (Gate fee collection begins at 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, at noon Thursday and Friday and at 3 p.m. Saturday.)
Midway rides will open at 5 p.m. daily except the last day, when they will open at 4 p.m.
A new ride this year, outside of the Midway, will be a mechanical bull. The cost to ride will be $2.
Grandstand entertainment on Monday will include the traditional demolition derby mini cars with a lawn mower derby added. Robson said the fair board believes the lawn mower derby should be interesting, and local participants are needed.
On Thursday night, the big sedan demo derby and mini car rollover will be the main attractions at the grandstand, while the truck pull and tractor pull take center stage Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.
For more information about the demo derbies, including the lawn mower event, or the tractor pull, contact Carl (Buck) Mathes at 738-2048. For questions about the truck pull, contact Stepro’s garage at 738-1058.
The third annual Baby Contest will be Friday, July 31, at 6 p.m. in the 4-H Building. Superintendent Lynne Thomas said the divisions, for both boys and girls, will be 0 to 5 months, 6 to 11 months, 12 to 17 months and 18 to 24 months. A trophy will be awarded for first place in each division; the first 50 contestants will receive a bib (0 to 11 months) or a T-shirt (12 to 24 months).
To enter, children’s parents must reside in Harrison County. Registrations will be taken between 5 and 5:45 p.m. the day of the contest; the child’s birth certificate is required for registration. Dress is casual/play wear.
Robson said several new vendors and exhibitors are expected at this year’s fair.
There also will be plenty of 4-H exhibits and livestock shows, two days of harness racing and other attractions.
In honor of the fair’s 150th anniversary, commemorative baskets and picture books will be sold. The basket will be available in the fair office while the book will be in the Historical Society of Harrison County’s booth; both will be under the grandstand. The Historical Society will also have a photo display in its booth.
Mathes, who has served on the fair board the past 18 years and was a volunteer 17 years before that, credits the fair’s longevity ‘ 15 years longer than the Kentucky Derby ‘ to its tradition of ‘showin’ off the wares of your county.
‘People enjoy seeing that,’ he said of the various aspects of the fair, which includes at its core the Homemakers, 4-H, FFA, merchants, harness racing and nightly shows.
While the Shelby County Fair started two years before Harrison County hosted its first fair, Mathes said Shelby County ‘actually took a few years off during the big war.’
Speaking of Mathes, there is one other new event this year: the Buck Mathes Look Alike contest.
‘It wasn’t my idea,’ Mathes said. ‘I’m quite flattered, but I feel sorry for anyone that looks like me.’
That event will take place Thursday, July 30, during the demo derby. Mathes said he’s already purchased two dozen straw hats to give to participants.
For anyone who is still looking for a reason to go to this year’s county fair, Mathes offered, ‘It’s a show place of our county … that shows off the fastest horses, the prettiest women, the biggest watermelon and best livestock our county has. Oh, and the live entertainment.’
For more details about fair events, see insert in next week’s Corydon Democrat.