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Washington County Fair ready for another big year

Drew Lang, 13, of Marietta, gets his livestock ready for the Washington County Fair Friday afternoon. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

MARIETTA — The Washington County Fairgrounds was a hub of activity Friday afternoon as participants prepared their livestock and booths ready for the fair’s Saturday kickoff.

Washington County Fair Board President Kurt Bohlen said the lead up to the fair has been busy this year.

“We’re a little bigger than normal…a few more food vendors and a few more rides,” he said.

He said last year, some 12,000 to 15,000 people attended the fair and they expect at least that this year. Planning for this year’s fair started shortly after last year’s fair finished up.

“We start planning the next fair the week after the fair ends,” he explained. “It’s pretty well a year-long process. Everybody’s worked hard and it’s gone good so far.”

Drew Lang, 13, and Mollie Lang, 9, both of Marietta, get their livestock tied up inside the cattle barn at the Washington County Fairgrounds Friday afternoon. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

On Friday, trucks with livestock trailers lined up outside the cattle, sheep and goat barn as 4-Hers from around the county brought their animals in to be shown and sold off later this weekend.

“Our kids are here with livestock,” said Brett Morris, 32, of Whipple, as he passed through the midway. “They have dairy feeders and goats.”

Most people seemed busy and rushed from place to place to get every animal and project submitted. So the animals wouldn’t overheat, fans were set up to keep the livestock cool inside the barn, while goats and sheep outside in pens were wrapped in cooling blankets.

Marietta students Drew Lang, 13, and Mollie Lang, 9, worked to get their cows out of the trailer, up the hill and into the barn. Once placed in their pens, they had to get their livestock tied up. When the animals were settled, the two were rushing off to get other tasks done before they left the fairgrounds for the night.

That seemed the norm for most of the youth, as they hurried to finish off their 4-H projects, which sometimes took a year or more, depending on the animal they were raising.

David Coleman of Miami, Fla., gets his balloon booth ready at the Washington County Fairgrounds Friday afternoon. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

Kayla Schaad of Waterford was there with two children showing 4-H projects. Her 10-year-old son, Aaron, was there with goats, while her 7-year-old daughter, Emily, was heading out to submit a handbag she had sewn as a project. This was Emily’s first year to submit a 4-H project and she was shy about showing it off.

“She sewed it by herself,” Kayla said. “I lined up the pieces, but she did all the sewing.”

Reno resident Kristen Winstanley, 18, is in her 10th year showing at the fair and she’ll be showing market lambs and beef breeding heifers this year.

“I grew up on a beef farm and I’ve been raised around them my whole life,” she explained. “I got into lambs because I wanted to try something new.”

She just graduated from Frontier High School and will be going to The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute this fall.

Angie Minor of Middletown, and Cricket Chapman of Sebring, Fla., work to hang up plush fish toys in their booth at the Washington County Fairgrounds Friday. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

“It’s been a pretty typical year this year. I’ll have one more year showing. I’ll be 18 until March,” she said. Eligibility to show animals for 4-H ends on Dec. 31 the year she turns 19.

Along with the 4-H projects, there will be plenty to keep local residents entertained this weekend. Along with different bands playing at the midway on Saturday, there is a garden tractor pull, the fan favorite fair parade at 10 a.m. downtown, a cake decorating contest, a talent show and a square dance, along with the midway rides and food vendors.

Among the different foods available are funnel cakes, corn dogs, Italian sausages, deep fried Oreos and Snickers, homemade ice cream and steak sandwiches.

On Sunday, a rabbit dress up contest, farm chore relay and rodeo are on tap, while Monday’s festivities include a horse harness, greased pig contest and skate night at the roller rink. Before the fair is finished on Tuesday, the 4-Hers will be selling off their livestock and a demolition derby will be held.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will also be on hand in their booth, which will be by the skating rink.

Cricket Chapman of Sebring, Fla., hangs plush toys above fish bowls at her booth at the Washington County Fairgrounds Friday. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

“We’re in the same location as always. We’ll have a cooling station with seating and big fans and big tubs of ice with bottles of water,” said Major Brian Schuck. “It’s for when someone is feeling overheated. We’ll also have a big screen TV with the Buckeyes game on.”

He said there will be a lot of things for children, such as coloring and getting to meet the deputies and look inside their vehicles. Kids can also get their photo taken inside a pretend jail cell, Schuck said.

There will be sign-ups for different bikes for different age groups of kids, along with a sign-up for the moms to win fall mums.

“We’ll also be doing the kid ID print. Parents can come and get their children photoed and fingerprinted and it’s put on an ID in case they ever need it,” Schuck said.

But before the fair can kick off, vendors had to spend all day Friday setting up their food trailers or games in the midway.

David Coleman, 53, of Miami, Fla., spent a good portion of time inflating the balloons at his booth near the merry-go-round. He said he was happy to be in Marietta for the fair.

“I’m kinda glad I’m here because a hurricane is hitting (Miami),” he said

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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If You Go…

* What: Washington County Fair.

* When: Today through Tuesday.

* Where: Washington County Fairgrounds, 922 Front St., Marietta.

* Times: See schedule below for events.

* Cost: General daily admission, including rides, is $8 for adults, children ages 2 and under can get in free. Parking is $1 per vehicle.

Source: Washington County Fair Board

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SATURDAY

* 7:30 a.m.: Home Arts Judging at home arts building

* 8 a.m.: Gates Open

* 9 a.m.: John Rech Memorial Pull

Farm Stock Classes; grandstands

* 9 a.m.: Garden Tractor Pulls at grandstands

* 10 a.m.: Fair Parade Downtown

* 10 a.m.: Junior Fair DFS Showmanship following showmanship is the Junior Fair DFS Market Show (Pee Wee Showmanship follows)

* 10 a.m.: Jr Fair Horse Show at horse arena

* 10 a.m.: 2 p.m.: Wash. Co. Soil and Water Archery Trailer near the Civitan building

* 11 a.m.: Junior Fair Poultry Showmanship

* Noon: Midway Opens

* Noon: Flower Judging at merchants hall

* 1 p.m.: Rockin’ In Ohio at midway

* 1 p.m.: Cake Eating Contest at multi-purpose building

* 1 p.m.: Little Prince and Princess contest at junior fair building

* 1 p.m.: Holstein Club Show at multi-purpose building

* 1 p.m.: Junior Fair Poultry/Turkey Judging (Market) at poultry building

* 2 p.m.: Entertainment “Wild Ride” at midway

* 3 p.m.: Coin Hunt (12 and under) at petting zoo

* 3 p.m.: Junior Fair Beef Market Steer Show

(Market Classes, immediately following showmanship)

* 3 p.m.: Junior Fair Poultry Show (Fancy) at poultry building

* 4 p.m.: Entertainment “Red Eye Dawn” at midway

* 5 p.m.: Junior Fair Cake Decorating Contest at junior fair building

* 6 p.m.: Junior Fair Beef Breeding Show at multi-purpose building

* 6 p.m.: John Rech Memorial Pull

Hot Classes at grandstands

* 7 p.m.: County Fair Talent Show at junior fair building

* 8 p.m.: Square Dance by the Buckeye Travelers at roller rink

* 11 p.m.: Midway closes

***

SUNDAY

* 9 a.m.: Worship Service at horse arena and multi-purpose building

* 9 a.m.: Junior Fair Goat Showmanship at multi-purpose building

* 9 a.m.: Junior Fair Rabbit Showmanship at poultry building

* 10 a.m.: Junior Fair Horse Show at horse arena

* 11 a.m.: Junior Fair Market Goat at multi-purpose building (followed by Pee Wee Showmanship)

* 11 a.m.: Junior Fair Rabbit Show (Market) at poultry building

* Noon: Midway opens

* Noon: Horse Harness at racing track

* Noon: Entertainment “Tunnel Hill Blue Grass” at midway

* 1 p.m.: Cake Eating Contest at multi-purpose building

* 1 p.m.: Rabbit Dress Up Contest at poultry building

* 1 p.m.: Junior Fair Rabbit Breed Show (followed by Pee Wee Showmanship)

* 2 p.m.: Entertainment “Phase 2” at midway

* 2 p.m.: Junior Fair Goat Breeding Show at multi-purpose building

* 3 p.m.: Coin Hunt (12 and under) at petting zoo

* 3 p.m.: Ladies Lead and Goat Dress Up at multi-purpose building

* 4 p.m.: Entertainment “Dark Pigs” at midway

* 4 p.m.: Farm Chore Relay TBA

* 4 p.m.: 4-H Style Show at junior fair building

* 4 p.m.: Junior Fair Lamb Showmanship at multi-purpose building

* 6 p.m.: Junior Fair Market Lamb Show at multi-purpose building

* 6 p.m.: Waterford FFA Petal Pull at petting zoo

* 7 p.m.: SEBRA Rodeo at grandstands

* 8:30 p.m.: Junior Fair Sheep Breeding Show at multi-purpose building

* 11 p.m.: Midway closes

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MONDAY

* 8-10 a.m.: 4-H Pancake Flippin’ Breakfast at junior fair building

* 10 a.m.: Tug Pulls at grandstands

* 10 a.m.: Junior Fair Dairy Showmanship at multi-purpose building (Followed by Pee Wee Showmanship)

* 11 a.m.: Junior Fair Dairy Breeding Judging (concurrently with Open Show) at multi-purpose building

* Noon: Midway opens

* Noon: Horse Harness at racing track

* Noon: Entertainment “Highway 7 Band” at midway

* 1-3 p.m.: 4-H Cloverbud Activities at junior fair building

* 1 p.m.: Cake Eating Contest at multi-purpose building

* 2 p.m.: Entertainment “Pickin’ on Country” at midway

* 3 p.m.: Coin Hunt (12 and under) at petting zoo

* 4 p.m.: Greased Pig Contest at multi-purpose building

* 4 p.m.: Entertainment “Jim Love Joy Band” at midway

* 5 p.m.: Farm Chore Relay at Civitan building

* 6 p.m.: Overall Showmanship Contest at horse arena and multi-purpose building

* 6 p.m.: Fast Traxx at grandstands

* 6-9 p.m.: $1 Skate Night at roller rink

* 11 p.m.: Midway closes

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TUESDAY

* 4 p.m.: Midway opens

* 4 p.m.: Junior Fair Livestock Sale at multi-purpose building. Sale Order: Rabbits, Goats, Chickens, Turkeys, Market Steers, Lambs, DFS

* 6 p.m.: Smash It demo derby at grandstands

* 11 p.m.: Midway closes

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