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Limited county fair still a go

While a traditional county fair was canceled in June because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Harrison County Agricultural Society Board of Directors, hoping some sort of normalcy would return by late September, set its sights on an abbreviated fair.
Limited county fair still a go Limited county fair still a go
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]

While a traditional county fair was canceled in June because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Harrison County Agricultural Society Board of Directors, hoping some sort of normalcy would return by late September, set its sights on an abbreviated fair.

Doug Henricksen, the board’s treasurer, said last week the plan is still on for the last week of this month.

“First, I want to say that this is all subject to change without any notice,” he said.

Many of the favorite events of the traditional Harrison County Fair — the oldest consecutive one in the state — are scheduled. This will mark the 161st year for the local fair, a status that the board didn’t want to lose.

There will be a Midway all three days. Henricksen said it will operate from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27. He was not sure whether individual tickets or wristbands will be sold, as the fair board is leaving that up to the ride company this year. The board is expecting 12 to 15 rides to be available.

In past years, gate admission included the Midway. Henricksen said the fair board opted not to charge an entrance fee to the fair this year; however, there will be a $10 fee for grandstand events.

The fair will feature the Kids’ Power Wheels Derby on Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m. in front of the grandstand. That will be preceded, at 5:45, by the naming of the Little Miss and Little Master and the crowning of this year’s fair queen. Following the Kids’ Power Wheels Derby will be a demolition derby, slated to begin at 7. Pit passes will be available for $15.

Henricksen said seating will be limited in the grandstand, and social-distancing guidelines will be followed there, as well as everywhere else at the fairgrounds during the three-day event.

Opening night of the fair also will include an open sheep show in the 4-H Show Pavilion beginning at 6:30.

Saturday’s activities will include a pie contest (baker’s choice of fruit) in three divisions — adult, youth and 4-H — with entries to be submitted by 10 a.m. After judging, the pies will be auctioned off starting at 4 p.m.

At 1 p.m. will be the annual fair parade, following the usual route that will begin at the YMCA of Harrison County and continue south on Capitol Avenue to the fairgrounds.

An open cattle show will begin at 4 p.m. in the 4-H Show Pavilion.

The grandstand’s event for the day will be a truck and tractor pull, scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. (Pit passes to be sold for $15.)

On the final day of the fair, there will be a barbecue contest, organized by Charles Gordon. Participants can set up and begin cooking at 7 a.m.; their entries will be submitted at 2:30 with awards scheduled for 5.

Henricksen said the public is invited to observe and some barbecue samples will be available.

A non-denominational church service is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the grandstand, and the afternoon will include bingo at 2.

The final event for the day will be a baby contest at 4 p.m. in the Talmage Windell Memorial Agriculture Building.

Food vendors are expected to be set up during the fair; however, Henricksen said there will be no merchant booths. 4-H members will have booths under the grandstand, featuring livestock seminars.

Henricksen said updates and other information will be posted online at https://www.facebook.com/HarrisonCountyFairgrounds and http://www.harrisoncountyfair.com.

For more information, call:

Open shows — Dennis Clunie, 812-968-0879;

Little Miss & Master, Queen and Baby contests — Adrienne Henricksen, 812-736-9256;

Demo Derby — John Kost, 812-267-5656;

Truck & Tractor Pull — Adam Camm, 812-267-3001;

Parade — Rand Heazlitt, 502-445-9532;

Bingo — Trena Kost, 812-267-5656; and

Seating/General Information and Pie Contest — Carla Clunie, 812-968-4485.

The fair board is scheduled to meet tonight (Wednesday) at 7 at the fairgrounds to work on finalizing plans, including any last-minute guidelines from the Harrison County Health Dept.

“We want to do this fair as safely as possible,” Henricksen said. “If you do not feel safe, don’t attend.

“We hope for it to be a fun weekend,” he added.

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