On the Beat: 08/25

Montgomery County Fair time again

By Jim Bucher

What is it about the aroma of a certain food or a particular smell that conjures up so many wonderful, vivid memories?

That’s what happens to me every year, a few days before Labor Day weekend, at the Montgomery County Fair. Corn dogs, funnel cakes, sausages, hamburgers, cakes, cookies and deep-fried Oreos… does life really get any better than that?

But first, some housekeeping.

There’s been a little confusion and false information reported by local media. (Wait, the media gets stuff wrong? Imagine that.) Plans are on the table to move the fairgrounds to a more rural part of Montgomery County, but at press time, those plans remain firmly “on the table.”

So, come Wednesday Sept. 2, (my birthday, by the way—gifts are encouraged), the gates will swing open for the 163rd time, in the same place it’s always been in Dayton—on South Main St. across from Miami Valley Hospital.

Speaking of … when I was young, the fair was also a reminder that school would soon begin. This was summer’s last gasp. That’s of course when school began after Labor Day. Another story entirely.

And I have loads of memories of this event. First it was attending with my family. Later, it was with my teenage friends (we got there via bus). Eventually, it was in a car with my own kids.

While working as an entertainment reporter, it was always awesome every year to highlight the fair on local television in my hometown. For years, the late Dayton Daily News columnist Dale Huffman would join me for the opening ceremony. This happened 15 years straight. He’d end up with a wonderful human-interest column and I would have a fun TV story. Then it was off to the old Dominic’s across the street for a cold one or two.

But what is it about a county fair that keeps generations coming back again and again? Personally, I think it’s the connection to the past.

Before malls, shopping centers and grocery stores for that matter, the fair was where you bought fresh produce, dry goods and more from local farms. Farmers perused the latest in farm machinery. Young people showed their prized chickens, cows and pigs for blue ribbons.

It was the center of the universe for Montgomery County—you’d run into neighbors and friends you hadn’t seen since the last fair.

Well, some of that tradition continues, and even though you might think there’s not a whole heck of a lot of farmland around these here parts, agriculture still plays an important part here in 2015.

So, what can you experience at this year’s edition? Plenty!

Lots of family fun with thrill rides for the adults and tamer ones for the kids. A wide variety of fair food, music, harness racing, two big days of the demolition derby, and for the first time ever, free entertainment with your $8 admission.

Weekdays during lunchtime only, you can enjoy all that great fair food with free admission. The fair also offers special pricing for vets and active military personnel.

Some of your favorite local media personalities will be on hand, too, like our buddy Kim Faris from Dayton’s Hot Country B945 radio. She will handle the emcee duties for the opening ceremonies on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Jeff Stevens from MIX 107.7 will broadcast live from the fair for a couple of hours.

James Brown from News Center 7 is back as a judge for the annual pie-baking contest. This year it’s peach—which was an easy sell to a guy addicted to ANY pie. Soft Rock 92.9’s Dan Edwards hosts a radio remote on Friday, Sept. 4.

Wait—there’s more. Bill Nance and Melody Morris will bring their Faith & Friends Internet radio show to the fair too! But what’s gonna be really cool is the FOX 45 in the Morning crew will broadcast their entire show, 7-9 a.m. from the fair on Friday.

Do you think I can convince meteorologist Chris Mulcahy to chase a pig or ride the bumper cars? I’m betting yes! Let’s see, what did I miss?

Oh yes, did I mention a fair staple the truck and tractor pulls, the Miss Miami Valley Pageant and even a rodeo?

Plus, the 4H youngsters work so hard all year grooming their show animals. You have to check out the results and support these wonderful kids. The Montgomery County Fair is a time to relax under one of the big shade trees with a cool beverage, stroll the grounds and absorb the sights and sounds.

Just like 163 years ago.

Cheers, and see ya at the fair!


The Montgomery County Fair will take place Sept. 2-7 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on S. Main St., across from Miami Valley Hospital. Admission is $8. For more information, please visitmontcofair.com 

For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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