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Fair board has bicentennial fever

This year’s Harrison County Fair will feature a few special events as Indiana continues to celebrates its bicentennial.
Fair volunteer Lisa C. Uhl, who has been developing and planning the events, said, ‘We will be offering special commemorative ribbons and a few of the limited edition Zimmerman Glass bicentennial commemorative paperweights, which is really exciting considering the historical rarity of this event.’
She hopes folks will consider the special awards as they work on their entries for the fair.
‘Entries such as quilts, samplers and sewn items can take many hours, so we realize advanced planning is required,’ Uhl said.
During the parade, set for Sunday, July 17, at 7 p.m., three entries will be selected that most represent the Indiana bicentennial theme, with one award given in each area of Walking Group, Float-Driven category and Animal category, which could be a single entry or a group.
‘We want groups, organizations and businesses to begin planning their parade entries because of the significance of the bicentennial year,’ Uhl said. ‘We hope to see lots of Indiana flags and bicentennial decorations. It’s going to make for an exciting parade this year. Updated parade information will appear on our Facebook page and our website as to where each type of parade group will meet prior to the parade.’
Also at the fair, which will run through Saturday, July 23, two 4-H projects and three exhibits from Homecomers Hall will be chosen as Hoosier Bicentennial Supreme Exhibits. The selections will be based on Hoosier bicentennial significance, creativity, craftsmanship and neatness. All 4-H non-livestock exhibits will be considered as well as all exhibits in Homecomers Hall.
Uhl said exhibits could be decorated cakes, sets of decorated cookies or cupcakes, cross-stitch, quilts, pot holders, paintings, drawings, floral arrangements, carvings, homemade clothing, etc. that is representative of the 1816-era or any other item that Harrison Countians want to get creative with.
‘The awards will be special commemorative keepsakes,’ she said.
Additionally, two Hoosier Bicentennial Supreme Decorating awards will be given for best bicentennial-themed decorated stall, cage or pen for 4-H/FFA animals on exhibition during the fair.
‘We encourage members to be creative when decorating their stall, cage or pen and to post their animal’s name, if it has an Indiana- or bicentennial-themed name,’ Uhl said. ‘We urge caution to ensure that decorations and signage do not flap or irritate the animals because safety is a priority for all animals and people at the fair.’
During the two demolition derbies (one for small cars on July 18 and the other for large cars on July 21), one winner will be selected each night to receive a $100 prize for the vehicle painted to represent Indiana’s bicentennial.
‘They may choose a theme from Indiana statehood history, a pattern of any symbol that represents Indiana or other ideas representative of Indiana,’ Uhl said. ‘We hope they will get creative on their car’s paint job and naming their cars.
‘If it is popular, we might consider choosing a theme each year,’ she said.
The demo promoter, John Peck, is joining the fair board to sponsor the prize money.
To recognize the state pie, sugar cream, there will be a Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie Contest following the harness racing on July 22.
‘There are various versions of this pie, and we are excited to see what the bakers of Harrison County bring to the table,’ Uhl said.
Rules are to be posted on the fair board’s website and Facebook page.
The food structure competition returns for a second year. Partnering with Harrison County Farm Bureau, the contest is titled Bicentennial Build Against Hunger Food Drive.
‘Last year, only a handful of organizations participated, including a 4-H club, a few FFA chapters and the Farm Bureau,’ Uhl said. ‘We really hope that churches, youth groups and businesses will join us in designing ‘structures’ made of food because the creative results add to the enjoyment of fair-goers and, mostly, because the food items are donated to Harrison County Community Services’ food pantry and help to alleviate hunger in our own community.’
Contest rules can be found online and on Facebook.
Harrison County 4-H Clubs are invited to paint bicentennial 36-inch tall ‘corn statues’ that will be exhibited throughout the fairgrounds and then be sold in a silent auction with the proceeds to benefit the Harrison County 4-H Trips fund.
Also, bicentennial fair photos taken at any one of three new ‘head-in-the-hole’ boards will be eligible for winning $25 in nightly prize money.
Harrison County artist Joy Kirchgessner is designing and painting three murals on the boards that were built by fair board member Doug Henricksen. Uhl said fair-goers are encouraged to take family-friendly photos at the murals and upload them to the fair’s official Facebook page, ‘Harrison County Fairgrounds Corydon Indiana.’
‘There are various Harrison County Fair Facebook pages, so make sure you get the official one that features our carousel/Ferris wheel/big-top logo as the profile picture,’ Uhl said. ‘A new album will be created daily in the photo section, and each night one winner will be selected and announced on our Facebook page. We will be sharing these with the Harrison County Committee for the Indiana Bicentennial Facebook page as well. We are partnering with them and encourage people to ‘like’ their Facebook page and our official page so they don’t miss any of the special bicentennial events.’
Fair board and volunteers have been discussing other displays and events, including historical Indiana memorabilia to display in the new Talmage Windell Memorial Agricultural Building, a youth scavenger hunt and other events, which are still being developed.
‘The possibilities are exciting because we know we have several creative people in our community,’ Uhl said.
There are many symbols to work with that are associated with Indiana.
Uhl encourages anyone with ideas to share them on the Facebook page or by email.
‘We are working hard at keeping up with social media, trying to stay in touch with what people want and responding to the community’s requests,’ she said. ‘It’s going to be exciting to see the new exhibits, the new building and the new events, plus we have a new ride company, Kissel Entertainment, which most people know as ‘the company that Meade County uses.’ Well, this year, they’ll be at the Harrison County Fair first.’
The Harrison County Agricultural Society can be found online at; by email, [email protected]; and on Facebook.