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Fair off to an ‘amazing start’

Fair off to an ‘amazing start’
Fair off to an ‘amazing start’
Grand marshal Ed Rainbolt, right, is driven in the Harrison County Fair parade Sunday evening by Chuck Edge. Rainbolt is a 99-year-old Army veteran, who has attended numerous Harrison County fairs. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The 162nd consecutive annual Harrison County Fair got off to an “amazing start” Monday, according to John Kost, president of the Harrison County Agricultural Society, which puts on the fair.

“A lot of our community came out for the first night of the fair,” Kost said. “We were even close to our average number of attendees compared to previous years’ first nights, which is so good to see after the year we all have had.”

The fair kicked off Sunday with the fair parade and crowning of the fair queen and Little Miss and Little Master.

Fair off to an 'amazing start'
Blaine Whittaker is crowned Harrison County Fair queen on Sunday night. Photo by Alan Stewart

Blaine Whittaker, daughter of Clay Whittaker and Jalyna Whittaker of New Salisbury, was crowned as queen. The 5-foot, 5-inch blue-eyed blonde just completed her junior year at North Harrison High School. She is a member of several 4-H clubs: the Blue River All Stars, Lucky Horseshoes and Hoosier Stockman. She mostly shows livestock at the annual fair but did other projects when she was younger.

Whittaker said she is looking forward to being in front of the crowd on the grandstand each night of the fair.

First runner-up was Erika Corbin. Her parents are Kathy Corbin and Anthony Corbin. Lydia Coyle was second runner-up and was named Miss Congeniality. She is the daughter of Jonathan and Michele Coyle.

Winners of the Little Miss and Master Contest were Brinley Whitehouse and Mack Miller, respectively. First runners-up were Sonora Hoehn and Mason Hobt, while second runners-up were Riley Kays and Nolan Thatcher.

The crownings came after the parade. Grand marshal was Ed Rainbolt, who will be 100 on Nov. 23. He attended Corydon schools, served in the Army from 1942 to 1945, fought in Normandy and received two Purple Hearts and three Bronze Star clusters. Rainbolt played softball until he was 65 years old and retired from the old Naval Ordnance in Louisville. He is a long-time attendee of the Harrison County Fair and loves harness racing, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday afternoons at the fair.

Rainbolt, accompanied by his daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Joe Miller, rode in a horse-drawn wagon driven by Chuck Edge, who won second place in the animal category of the parade. First place in that category went to the Harrison County Colorguard.

First place for the motorized category was awarded to the Veterans of Harrison County Inc. entry, while second place went to Repair Affair of Harrison County. Winning the trophy for best walking group went to the North Harrison marching band; second place was given to the Harrison County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

Camden Marshall, who received his high school diploma earlier Sunday afternoon, was a secondary grand marshal in the parade. He won the Indiana High School State Athletic Association’s 1,600-meter track and field event Friday afternoon.

The last entry in the parade passed the grandstand at 7:50 p.m. Sunday.

With the clouds giving way to blue skies by Monday night, the first of two demolition derbies of the week (the other is scheduled for Friday) took place in front of the grandstand.

Kost said he is excited for the community to come see what the rest of the week holds at the fair as well.

A truck and tractor pull was scheduled for last night (Tuesday) but the forecast was showing a 100% chance of rain 30 minutes prior to start time.

The main event tonight is a karaoke and dance party, a show that hasn’t taken place at the Harrison County Fair in quite some time, but that the entire board was excited to bring back.

Kost noted that if weather does not permit it to take place outside, it will be moved inside a building to allow the show to still go on.

Tomorrow night will feature a music showcase by local school bands. It is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in front of the grandstand.

Friday night’s demolition derby is one Kost said he is very excited for.

“A lot of good cars are going to be in the derby on Friday,” he said. “I’ve heard from several drivers that weren’t able to be in the derby Monday night that they will be there for Friday, so I expect a really good show that night.”

Another truck and tractor pull — the Battle of the Bluegrass — is scheduled for Saturday night at 7.

Midway rides by Brady Amusements are open on the fairgrounds each day, from 5 to 11 p.m. through Friday and from 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday.

Kost said he is pleased with how much everyone enjoys the rides this year, and he hopes they continue to expand the ride offerings as the years go on.

Free parking and general admission to the grandstand for the entire week is offered to those who purchase a $25 Harrison County Agricultural Society annual membership. Otherwise, a daily admission that includes all rides, parking and general admission to the grandstand is $10 daily beginning at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 3 p.m. Saturday. Those 29 inches and under are free of charge to enter the fair.

Contributing information to this story was Editor Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor.