Rain clouds over HC fair reveal silver lining
‘Soaked’ seemed the theme for the beginning of the 155th annual Harrison County Fair as beads of sweat drenched parade-watchers Sunday evening and Monday evening’s torrential downpour washed away a large chunk of the predicted attendance.
With Monday’s gloomy forecast, the fair lost about $3,000 and cut short the evening’s motocross races.
‘We got in four heats of the motocross, then the rain came, and we had to cancel because it kept on raining and the track was just terrible,’ Carl (Buck) Mathes, president of the Harrison County Agriculure Society, the fair’s sponsor, said. ‘And, coupled with the fact that we didn’t want to make the track any worse for us for (Tuesday night’s) show.’
Mathes said the loss was much smaller than expected and, despite bad weather, people seemed to have a great time.
‘Everything else went on fine,’ he said. ‘They, of course, shut the Midway down during the storm but, as soon as it quit raining, they started the Midway back up, and the kids that were still here got to ride a lot because the lines were shorter.’
With the weather forecast in the mid-70s for the remainder of the week, Mathes said a huge crowd should take in the rest of the fair.
‘One of the things that we’ve always heard around the fair is, it’s always too hot,’ he said. ‘They’re not going to have that excuse this year. We are looking for a good week.’
Sunday evening’s scorching temps did not deter parade-goers.
‘There was a lot of people watching over in Corydon,’ Mathes said. ‘Ten people deep over at the square.’
Crystal Whitaker sat roadside with Andy Perez and daughter Lucy Perez of Louisville to watch the event.
Baton twirlers, crash dummies, old cars, a gorilla and a giant bottle of shampoo were just a few of the passers-by.
As a young girl, Whitaker participated in the fair and now returns each year for the parade.
‘We grew up out here,’ she said. ‘I used to show cows in the fair and did that for years, so I am glad to come back.’
Lucy Perez said she enjoyed her second time at the parade and shared her favorite parts of the fair.
‘The queens and when I get the candy,’ Perez said, ‘and finding my family because we can’t find them.’
Whitaker said they had been trying to find her grandparents in the crowd.
Winning parade entrees were: Best Tractor, Dylan Bussabarger; Best Float, Corydon United Methodist Church; Best Horse, Ranger Joe; Best Walking Group, Pink-a-Palooza; and Best Antique Car, Rebecca Reiche with her ’64 Cutlass.
Prior to the parade, Brody Yeager and Maysen Reeves were crowned Little Master and Little Miss, respectively.
Following the parade, 17-year-old Bailey Seitz was crowned fair queen.
Seitz, who will be a senior this year at North Harrison High School, is the daughter of Jason and Tammy Seitz. She was sponsored by Indian Creek Shooting Center, and her escort was Colin Lyell.
In addition to being crowned queen, Seitz also won Miss Photogenic.
Miss Congeniality was Molly Leffler, first runner-up was Abigail Saulman and second runner-up was Hayley Hill.
‘It was fun watching the little kids go through the parade, and I had some of my teammates and the kids I’ve coached up in the grandstand,’ Seitz said. ‘They made it easy for me to keep smiling, and I enjoyed sitting up there with the girls. I’ve made friends with a lot of them. I enjoyed it.
‘I was nervous, but I would have been happy for any of the other girls to win,’ she said. ‘They are all my friends, and I’d have been happy for them, too.’
Seitz, a former Little Miss competitor, said her favorite part of the Harrison County Fair is going to the tractor pulls, which is something she’s done many times with her father and describes as a great childhood memory, and eating funnel cakes.
Mathes said people should really look forward to the good weather and events to come.
‘I appreciate people coming out so far,’ he said, ‘and I hope to see them later this week.’