Page 22 - Discover Magazine 2019
P. 22

 Shelby County Fair
Discover Shelby County Ohio
In the opening of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical State Fair, the lead character sings, “Our State Fair is a great State Fair, don’t miss it, don’t even be late.” Ohioans would agree that one of the most
anticipated parts of summer is making a trip to Columbus for the State Fair and attending the local county fairs that precede it.
The 159th Annual Shelby County Fair will be held July 21-27, 2019. Preparations for another exciting family fun event are underway. “Bringing projects to the Fair is
a family tradition,” said Jeremy Reese, president of the Shelby County Fair Board. “Many of today’s attendees and competitors have parents and even grandparents who attended or competed at the Fair in the past.”
Although county fairs used to be all about farmers exhibiting their animals and crops, today’s fairs have something for everyone. The emphasis has shifted from spotlighting farmers to spotlighting youth.
Over 1,000 young people in Shelby County are members of 4-H, an organization dedicated to teaching leadership, citizenship, and life skills. They represent 35 clubs and most will be participating in this year’s Junior Fair.
The four H’s stand for head, heart, hands, and health, and 4-H clubs help students learn skills in many areas, not just farming. Over six million American youth are involved in 4-H chapters in every state and countless more are involved in at least 80 countries around the world, making 4-H the largest youth development organization. Recently, its reach has grown significantly as it has added more science related activities. Many clubs still focus on raising animals, but others emphasize STEM fields like rocketry, robotics, environmental protection, and computer science in addition to traditional crafts like sewing, photography, woodworking, art, gardening, and cooking.
Although the 4-H livestock shows and exhibits provide a lot to see and do at the Shelby County Fair, that is not the whole show.
This year’s Fair will include harness racing, truck and tractor pulls, a demolition derby, pig and calf scrambles,
JULY 21-27, 2019
magic, a thrill show, and musical groups. Fairgoers can participate in horseshoe pitching or enjoy local band performances and cheerleading competitions. In addition to the 4-H projects, there are exhibits of vegetables, baked goods, jams and jellies, flowers, needlework, antiques, and arts and crafts submitted by participants of all ages, all hoping for that coveted blue ribbon.
Entertainment always draws people to the grandstand at the Fair and this year will be no exception. The week kicks off on Sunday with the Rolling Stone Rodeo, a high-energy show that includes barrel racing and bull riding. Harness Racing will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday
is the day for Truck and Tractor Pulls. The Pig and Calf Scramble is on Friday and the popular Demolition Derby ends the week on Saturday.
Music includes Rockland Road, a family harmony band, on Tuesday; the Hobbs Sisters, a Nashville duo, on Wednesday; and hits from the 50’s and 60’s with Phil Dirt and the Dozers on Friday. Hypnotist Mike Bishop will be at the Fair all week as will the Fabulous Flores thrill show which includes the exciting “motorcycles in the sphere.”
On Monday, veterans and their spouses get free admission to the Fair. Senior Citizens are celebrated on Tuesday with a free lunch, exhibits, entertainment, and door prizes.
Rides and other midway attractions will again be supplied by Michael’s Amusements, a third-generation family amusement company based out of Fayetteville, NC. Show owners Michael and Sherry Reisinger always bring a professional staff that is well trained on ride operation and safety procedures.
Of course, one of the best reasons to attend the Fair
is to sample all the good things to eat. From French fries and burgers to sugar-coated waffles and cotton candy and everything in between, Fair food may not be the healthiest, but it is fun and yummy. And it is okay to splurge a little because, after all, Shelby County Fair week only comes once a year.

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