Miami County Fair returns
By Alyssa Reck
Photo: The Miami County Fair will be held Aug. 8-14 at the Miami County Fairgrounds; photo: Laura Sutherly
For children, the fair is a time to ask mom and dad for cotton candy, funnel cakes, a game of ring toss and a general run of the grounds. For teenagers, it’s meeting up with friends, participating in events and maybe taking a crush up onto the Ferris wheel. For adults, the fair is walking through booths and buildings, watching shows in the grandstand, maybe even venturing into the livestock barns to check out 4-H projects. Whatever the reasoning for going to the fair, it’s a grand time, and has been for much of Troy’s history.
The Miami County Fair began with the Miami County Agricultural Society, which elected its first officers Sept. 26, 1846. The following year, the first Miami County Fair began. The fair originally focused on agriculture, but expanded into livestock as settlers brought a variety of animals into the county.
Since its beginning, the Miami County Fair has continued playing its part in keeping Troy’s history alive.
The fair has been in its present location since 1871, on land purchased by Mrs. E. McKaig. At the time, the place could be reached by trolley.
Today, the Miami County Agricultural Society meets once a month, with representatives from each township, as well as representatives from individual planning committees. Planning for the fair must be done in advance to ensure the operation runs smoothly.
“Everything at the fair has a committee: from entertainment, to food, to livestock,” Miami County Fair President Mike Jess said.
Miami’s livestock, including horses, cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs and sheep, is a large portion of the fair. The highest record for competing livestock is 1,893 – a number Jess attributed to the poultry.
When looking for a thrill, the Miami County Fair brings out the bright lights and music with Burton Brothers Amusements. This company sets up game booths and rides for kids of all ages.
That includes the kids at heart.
A hungry stomach won’t be able to resist fair food. Elephant ears, funnel cakes, tenderloins and many other drool-worthy items are on the menu. Before settling on anything, peruse the many rows of interesting fare – something might just be unique.
This year, the stadium or grandstand will host many events including harness racing, a livestock scramble, kiddie tractor pull and a huge concert.
“There are so many different events that will attract everyone,” Jess said. “We have people that come from out of town and out of state for the fair.”
The main concert this year will include Chase Rice, along with special guests Sam Hunt and Miami County’s own Clark Manson.
While these artists have performed at the Country Concert, the Miami County Fair committee seems to have a knack for choosing the main entertainment. Past artists have included Hunter Hayes and Lady Antebellum.
The entertainment tent also has some interesting performers this year, including ventriloquist Mike Hemmelgarn, The Broken Lights, Spittin’ Image, Rock Island Plow Co. and the Rum River Band.
But wait, there’s more!
A shooting thrill-show will also be taking place near the stadium.
Some of the buildings on the fair grounds hold some treasures including baked goods, artwork, quilt-work and decorating ideas. More could be added to the list, but according to Jess, one of the buildings he sees people interested in is the livestock barns and merchant building.
The usual fair age demographic is 15-30 years old, according to Jess. But there is a Senior Day, which attracts a significant crowd. Every year, a photo is taken on Senior Day. It began with one photographer standing on the ground, then a ladder, and now requires an aerial lift to capture the entire senior crowd. Senior Day includes free admission, but, more importantly, is a grand time to catch up with others who have seen the fair grow over the years.
Jess is one such individual who has watched the fair blossom.
“I’ve been involved all my life and, while it is time consuming, I enjoy helping the kids out and putting on a good fair,” he said.
This year’s fair will be held Aug. 8-14, so worry not. There is a spot among the roughly 100,000 visitors and participants for one and all to find a thrill, catch some great entertainment and eat what fair foodies consider delicacies.
The Miami County Fair will be held Aug. 8-14 at The Miami County Fairgrounds, 650 N. County Rd. 25-A in Troy. For more information, please call 937.335.7492 or visit miamicountyohiofair.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Alyssa Reck at AlyssaReck@DaytonCityPaper.com.