Put on your boots and get back to your roots

Some of the Junior Fair Royalty contestants at last year’s Miami County Fair. Some of the Junior Fair Royalty contestants at last year’s Miami County Fair.

The Miami County Fair is sure to bring some memories back

By Emily Kaiser

Some of the Junior Fair Royalty contestants at last year’s Miami County Fair.

Some of the Junior Fair Royalty contestants at last year’s Miami County Fair.

Growing up in Ohio, I didn’t have the luxury of being near a beach with salt water waves and the ability of building a sky high sand castle. I wasn’t near a beautiful waterfall or snowcapped mountains to explore my imagination. My summers consisted of popsicles, the swimming pool and, of course, the fairs.

Every summer, I looked forward to staring at the animals, taking in their barnyard smell.  I couldn’t wait to watch the live bands play summertime hits with beads of sweat forming on their foreheads, and hope whoever won the pie contest would be generous enough to let me try just a bite of the fresh fruit inside the crusty pastry. Fueled by the sugars of one too many funnel cakes and powdered sugar dusting my face, I would brave the “big kid” rides, in hopes that I wouldn’t cry or lose my funnel cake. With my mom and dad cheering me on, sweet teas in hand, I knew I could do it. After I had conquered the biggest fear of my day, it was off to see the horse shows followed by fried chicken and frozen lemonade.

All of these memories can be relived by anyone of any age at the Miami County Fair, from August 12 to 18 in Troy. Besides some finger-lickin good food, there will be contests, horse shows, rides, games and much more, including some amazing entertainment.

The famous Charlie Daniels Band will be playing on Sunday, August 14 at 8 p.m. The iconic group has been playing for more than 50 years and is sure to bring some fiddling fun to the fair. With a mixture of rock, country, bluegrass, blues and gospel, the Charlie Daniels Band has something that will appeal to everyone’s ears.

“We wanted him last year just because he is a legendary performer,” said Diana Thompson, executive director of the Miami County Visitors Bureau. “There’s a crossover for the type of people who would be interested in coming out to see him.”

Charlie Daniels won a Grammy in 1979 for his hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and has also been honored with a star on the Music City’s Walk of Fame.  Because of his noted success and talents, he is expected to bring in many people to the fair Sunday evening.

To experience the memorable music live, you need an admission pass to get into the fair and tickets to see the Charlie Daniels Band. They are on sale now and are $15 for grandstand seats and $20 for premier track seats, which are directly in front of the stage.

Although the Charlie Daniels Band will be a huge hit, it is far from the only entertainment that will be showcased.

Starting the week off, there will be a motorcycle and ATV race on Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m.  Saturday, July 13 you can enjoy the feeling of being truly down on the farm while watching the truck and tractor pull. Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16, there will be harness racing in the grandstand. Wednesday, July 17 will have a salute to veterans and local high school bands will play while the sky becomes littered with hot air balloons taking off. Thursday, July 18, a demolition derby will be presented at the fair. The week will also showcase an antique car show, antique farm machinery display, dynamic championship wrestling, a horse show tournament, Fell N. Lucky, the happy hobo clown, and new this year, a swifty pig race.

Children are a huge part of every fair and they mustn’t be forgotten. There will plenty of games and rides for the youngsters to tire themselves out on. Burton Brothers Amusements will be bringing games and rides to the fair. Burton Brother will also have bigger, thrilling rides for those who want some excitement.

Juniors also have the chance to show off their hard work at the Juniors Fair Royalty contest. Children up to teens can also show off their beef, barrow, sheep, goats, poultry and rabbits.

“It’s definitely one of those very popular county fairs that offer great family entertainment at a very affordable price,” said Thompson. “It’s really all about offering great entertainment for kids and supporting kids that have these shows; that’s the best reason of all.”

Think you have the tastiest pie in town? Prove yourself at the fair. Anyone can bring their homemade pie to be judged. Adults can also show off their work and talent. There are open livestock shows that include dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine and sheep.

According to Thompson, the best place to park is the Northgate. Parking is free with entry. You can purchase your tickets for the fair before you park.

So put on your boots and get back to your roots this year at the Miami County Fair. Bring the family for some wholesome fun at a low cost. Whether you’re into animals, music or food, the fair has something to offer everyone.

Reach DCP freelance writer and editorial intern Emily Kaiser at EmilyKaiser@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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