‘Halo’ shields fairgrounds from rain
Jeff Byerly, president of the Harrison County Agricultural Society, said he was on the phone with a member of the Clark County fair board Monday when he was asked what he thought was an interesting question: ‘Are you all evacuating the fairgrounds?’
‘For what?’ Byerly replied.
While Harrison County was dry, Clark County’s fairgrounds received several inches of rain as part of a severe weather system that started north of Chicago and raced to the southeast and all the way to the Atlantic coast. The same system skirted Harrison County, dropping pea-sized hail in a quick thunderstorm in the afternoon, but left the opening night of the 156th consecutive annual Harrison County Fair high and dry in terms of additional precipitation (though the grounds are still damp from rain nearly every day last week).
‘We got lucky. Actually, that’s not even the word for it,’ Byerly said. ‘There was hail in Lanesville, and we even had someone on the way to the fairgrounds and it was pouring on the interstate, but we had a halo over Corydon, I guess. We’re glad it missed us. We don’t need any more rain. I don’t know how much rock we spread in the muddy areas, but it was a lot. I think once we get past Tuesday, we’re going to be OK weather-wise. It’ll just be hot and muggy, but that always goes along with the Harrison County Fair.’
Sunday’s fair parade played out with thousands of people lining the route in warm and muggy temperatures. The parade started at 7 p.m. with the final entry ‘ the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. horse patrol ‘ walking in front of the grandstand about 90 minutes later.
Not long after, Shelby Blackerby, 17, of Lanesville was crowned the 2015 Harrison County Fair Queen. Lanesville last had a fair queen two years ago when Caryn Eisert was crowned. Eisert made sure to congratulate Blackerby afterward and then take an obligatory selfie (or would it be a ‘queenie’?) with the newly-named royalty.
‘After they said first and second runner-up, I was shaking so bad,’ Blackerby, the daughter of Robert and Michelle Blackerby, said.
Last year’s queen, Bailey Seitz, presented Blackerby with a painting and a handwritten note telling her to enjoy all of the opportunities she’ll get this week at the fair.
First runner-up in the queen contest was Kennedi Winn, 20, of New Salisbury; second runner-up was Holly Pittman, 18, of Corydon, and; Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality was Hannah Jo Taylor, 17, of Corydon.
Trophy winners for the parade are: Best float ‘ Pinkapalooza; Best horse-drawn unit ‘ Six Guns Entertainment; Best walking group ‘ Veterans of Harrison County Inc.; Best tractor ‘ James Hubbard’s 830 Case; Best antique car ‘ Volkswagen bus.
Monday’s attendance for the grandstand event ‘ the mini-car and lawn mower demolition derbies, as well as the Power Wheels Youth Derby, was down slightly, Byerly said.
Chris Stepro won the small-car demo derby. An additional demo derby Monday night was won by Tabby Rice. Her boyfriend, Nathan Coffey, finished third.
Byerly said he heard many positive comments about the spacious, new 4-H Show Barn, which was dedicated Monday evening.
‘One guy jokingly told me he was going to need binoculars because it was so big,’ Byerly said. ‘It’s a really nice addition.
‘We’re really looking forward to good crowds the rest of the week,’ he said. ‘The livestock barns are busting at the seams and there’s a lot of food booths, so we hope people will come on out, get a pineapple whip ice cream and enjoy the fair.’
Grandstand attractions remaining include an old-fashioned hog callin’ and hog catchin’ contests this evening (Wednesday) at 7; the big sedans demo derby tomorrow evening at 7:30; the truck pull Friday at 7 p.m.; and the tractor pull Saturday at 6 p.m.
Open class attractions in the show barn are the boer goat show Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. and the sheep show Saturday at 7 p.m.
Harness racing will take place Thursday and Friday, beginning at 1 p.m. both days.
Admission to the fair is $10 per person, which includes general seating in the grandstand and the Midway rides.