MARIETTA - The opening day of the Washington County Fair gave the annual four-day event a good start, organizers said.
"So far, so good," said Steve Tornes, Washington County Fair Board president.
"It looks like we have a good number of people coming in and we have a lot of things going on for the next three or so days."
Photos by Jolene Craig
Sarah Klemm, with the Washington County Garden Clubs, places prize ribbons on Dollhouse Miniature flower arrangements Saturday in the Flower and Merchants Hall following judging of the nearly 300 flower entries.
Those events - aside from the animal and flower shows - include the Hillbilly Olympics, the Great Lakes Timber Show and the Imperial Stunt Show.
"We keep bringing in new things for people to enjoy and see what everyone likes," Tornes said. "We had the Hillbilly Olympics last year and they seemed to be so popular we brought them back."
Jeff and Jessica Cline, of Marietta, brought their three children - Gage Woolfert, 12, Lacey Cline, 6, and Christopher Cline, 18 months - to the fair Saturday following the fair parade to enjoy the rides and food.
Today's schedule includes:
- 9 a.m.: Worship Service (Old Sheep Building)
- 10 a.m.: Open Horse Show (Horse Arena); Small Tractor Pull (Chicken Barn Area)
- 11 a.m.: Junior Fair Dairy Feeder Steer Show (Cattle Arena); Junior Fair Poultry Judging (Rabbit/Poultry Building)
- Noon: Harness Horse Racing/Pari-Mutuel Betting (Grandstand); Junior Fair Rabbit Judging (Rabbit/Poultry Building); Junior Fair Goat Showmanship (Sheep/Goat Arena) (Market, 4-H and Open immediately following)
- 1 p.m.: Midway Opens; Junior Fair Market Steer Show (Cattle Arena) (Immediately following DFS show but not before 1 p.m.)
- 2 p.m.: Demonstration Contest (Junior Fair Building)
- 4 p.m.: Sheep Lead Class (Sheep/Goat Arena)
- 6 p.m.: Waterford Alumni Pedal Tractor Pull (Civitan Park)
- 7 p.m.: Junior Fair Small Animal Demo Contest (Junior Fair Building); Buckeye Rodeo (Grandstand)
- 7:30 p.m.: Junior Fair Dairy Skillathon Contest (Cattle Barn)
- 11 p.m.: Midway Closes.
"(The fair) is pretty much the same every year, but the rides are getting better," Jeff Cline said.
"Gage has a lot more to do this year with the rock climbing and rides for the older kids," Jessica Cline added.
Tornes said the rides have changed over the years from traditional Ferris wheels and bumper cars to rides that include a thrill, such as rock climbing and bungee jumping.
"This year we actually have a mechanic bull," Tornes said. "The (carnival rides) company we have doesn't even own a Ferris wheel; it's a new generation of fair rides."
This year's tractor pull is different from those in the past, Tornes said.
"We used to always deal with the Ohio and national tractor pull associations and locals weren't allowed to participate," Tornes said. "This year we decided to do our own and it should be fun to see friends and family in the pull."
Another reason people attend the fair each year is the flower show inside the Flower and Merchants Hall, under the roller rink.
"We always have a nice display and this year the judges are saying they have never seen this high a caliber of arrangements and flowers in one place before," said Emily Smith, a member of the Little Hocking Garden Club.
There are nearly 300 floral exhibits this year, which Smith said is on par, if not slightly larger than years past.
"These flowers are really fantastic," said Jean Hardman of Williamstown. "I am pleased with how nice they look and how many they are really surprised me."
The fair continues through 11 p.m. Tuesday at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Marietta.
"(Saturday) was a typical first day with glitches and we expect the rest of the fair to go smoothly," Tornes said. "Every year is the same, but with a different little glitch."