WILMINGTON — A long-running Clinton County tradition, an agricultural fair, returns Saturday with a number of different events and changes.
Among the new activities will be a two-show “World’s Greatest Cowboy/Cowgirl Competition,” dirt drag racing on the pulling track, a Sunday evening Bible Baptist Church service including gospel music, Sunday afternoon banjo entertainment, a musical act named “Triple the Trouble” comprised of three sisters, and a new food vendor who will sell chicken strips and waffle fries.
Also new will be a “Row of Champions.” The hog barn will house all the various grand champions and grand reserves so that visitors can, in one place, see those animal entries that have been judged as best “from chickens to cattle,” said Tracie Montague, 4-H and youth development educator with OSU Extension.
Once a livestock project earns the title of grand or reserve, fair-goers can see them in the hog barn where a new roof is one of several facility improvements on the fairgrounds. The other main structural enhancements are an extended roof over the grandstand and a brand new horse barn measuring 40 x 300 feet.
New as well in the horse department is a show — the horse versatility show — to be held Friday afternoon, July 14. At the horse shows on the fair’s opening two days, the 4-H Horse Committee will be in charge of food concessions so that the equestrian corner of the fairgrounds will have food offerings nearby.
And you may want to make a note to yourself that the 4-H poultry department will sell chicken wings on Tuesday evening close to the poultry barn.
Those food concessions are, of course, in addition to the classic fair food favorites available from professional vendors — french fries, funnel cakes, tacoritos and more.
“We are very pleased with our food offerings for this fair,” said Greta Gray, a Fairboard member involved in advertising and other standing committees.
Tuesday is shaping up as a big day at the fair. It is Senior Citizens Day and Veterans Day when seniors 60 and older and military veterans are admitted free, plus Kids Day when children 16 and younger can buy $5 ride tickets from 1 to 5 p.m.
Moreover, the “World’s Greatest Cowboy/Cowgirl Competition” is scheduled for Tuesday, with qualifying competition in the infield area at the grandstand (not the horse arena) starting at 2 p.m., and the finals starting at 7 p.m. Cowboys and cowgirls — and their trained horses — will be tested on skills such as roping, riding, a mini-obstacle area, a timed technique and maneuverability.
Two vehicles, side by side, will race in the Wednesday evening KOI Drag Racing event. “There basically is a class for anything you bring,” remarked Gray.
The 4-H and FFA Olympics event has been moved to 2 p.m. Friday in order to get more participants as Junior Fair shows start to wind down.
The annual Junior Fair livestock sales will all be held on one day, Saturday, July 15 rather than over two days. The change stems from input from buyers and others, according to Montague.
And though it’s not a new attraction, the fair’s grand finale is the 7 p.m. Saturday, July 15 National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA) truck and tractor pull.
“We received so many compliments last year on that particular event,” Gray said.
In the NTPA category of light pro stock tractors, there are “quite a few” competitors who reside in the local area that Clinton Countians can root for, she added.
“This is their home fair,” said Gray.
If you wake up on Sunday morning, July 16 and wish the fairgrounds were not vacated, then take heart. While not a part of the 2017 Clinton County Fair, the District 15 Open Holstein Show will begin 10 a.m. that day at the Livestock Expo facility on the Clinton County Fairgrounds, following up the county fair.
The Clinton County Fairboard has 16 directors this year, up from last year’s 14. New members are Kelli Hartman, Kevin Garen and Baylah Arehart.
Admission is charged daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (no refunds on gate admission for any reason). A 2017 membership ticket (sold in the fair office only) is $30. Daily admission is $8 (free for children 5 and younger). Daily Ride Tickets are $9 and can be purchased at the Amusement Ticket Office.
The fair’s opening ceremonies take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 8 and the midway opens at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, July 11 is a special day at the fair for several reasons:
• Kids Day — Ride tickets, purchased between 1 and 5 p.m. for children 16 and younger, are $5.
• Senior Citizens Day — Senior citizens (60 and older) are admitted free.
• Veterans Day — Veterans are admitted free.
Saturday, July 8
• 8 a.m. Junior Fair Horse Show
• 1 p.m. Jr. Fair Pygmy Goat Show/Showmanship
• 6:30 p.m. Open Steer, Heifer and Feed Calf Show
Sunday, July 9
• 8 a.m. Jr. Fair Horse Show
• 9 a.m. Jr. Fair Dairy Goat Show and Goat Breeding
• 1 p.m. Jr. Fair Swine Breeding Show/Showmanship
• 5 p.m. Guys & Gals Sheep Lead Competition
• 7:30 p.m. Open Market Goat & Open Market Lamb Show
Monday, July 10
• 8:30 a.m. Open Swine Show
• 9 a.m. Jr. Fair Chicken Market Show/Showmanship
• 10 a.m. Canned goods, handcrafts and needlecrafts
• 4 p.m. Jr. Fair Market Lamb & Production Ewe Showmanship
• 6:30 p.m. Jr. Fair Beef Showmanship
Tuesday, July 11
• 9 a.m. Jr. Fair Market Turkey & Showmanship
• 10 a.m. Jr. Fair Dairy Showmanship Show, followed by Dairy Show-All Breeds
• 1 p.m. Produce judging
• 2 p.m. Jr. Fair Market Goat Showmanship
• 6 p.m. Jr. Fair Market Lamb Show/Production Ewe Show
• 6 p.m. Jr. Fair Family & Consumer Sciences/General Awards Program
Wednesday, July 12
• 8 a.m. Jr. Fair Market Goat Show
• 8:30 a.m. Jr. Fair Swine Showmanship
• 9 a.m. Jr. Fair Rabbit Show
• 5 p.m. Jr. Fair Steer, Market Heifer, Feeder Calf & Breeding Show
Thursday, July 13
• 8:30 a.m. Jr. Fair Market Swine Show
• 9 a.m. Youth Division Open Rabbit Show
• 10 a.m. Jr. Fair Dog Obedience, Showmanship & Skillathon Awards
• 10 a.m. Jr. Fair Cat Show, Pet Rabbit & Small Animals Show
• 3-4 p.m. Jr. Fair Butter Shaking Contest
• 6:30 p.m. Tony Grapevine Memorial Showmanship Sweepstakes
Friday, July 14
• 8 a.m. Jr. Fair Roping Horse Show
• 9 a.m. Jr. Fair Fancy Poultry Show/Breeding Showmanship
• 9 a.m. Jr. Fair Dairy Judging Contest
• 10 a.m. Jr. Fair Livestock Judging Contest
• 10 a.m. Jr. Fair Rabbit Judging Contest
• 10 a.m. Baked goods judging
• 3 p.m Jr. Fair Horse Versatility Show
• 4 p.m. Baked goods auction
Saturday, July 15
• 10 a.m. Jr. Fair Goat, Lamb, Beef, Poultry, Rabbit, Dairy & Swine Sale
• 10 a.m. Jr. Fair Dog Agility & Agility Awards
• 2 p.m. Dog Costume Class, Trick Dog, Poster Awards & Versatility
2017 Fair Honoree
Traditionally, the Clinton County Agricultural Society Board of Directors has selected a Fair Honoree. The agricultural society will honor the memory of Mike Rose as the 33rd Fair Honoree during the upcoming county fair. On Friday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at the grandstand, Rose’s family will accept this acknowledgement in his memory.
A Clinton-Massie Class of 1964 graduate, excavating work came natural for Mike and he owned M.R. Rose Excavating. Mike was a great supporter of the events at the fairgrounds, providing equipment and his time to assist with many infield events sponsored by the Ag Society.
The family vacation was spending time at the Clinton County Fair. Mike liked to watch the livestock shows and supported the Junior Fair Livestock Sale.
“Mike’s smiles and grins will be dearly missed during the fair and other activities at the fairgrounds. We appreciate his service and support to the Clinton County Agricultural Society, fair activities and to our community,” states an ag society article honoring Mike near the front of the 2017 fair book.