Summer Fun At The Fair

Summer Fun At The Fair

Miami County Fair Begins This Weekend

By Lara Donnelly

Participants at the Miami County fair in 2009

The 2010 Miami County Fair, which begins this weekend just outside of Troy, promises to help visitors leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and indulge in a day of down-home country diversions. The fair is well past its 150th year, but that doesn’t mean it is old hat. In fact, this year promises to be one of the most exciting, entertaining, full-of-fun fairs. Dozens of new attractions will be coming to the Miami County Fairgrounds including new children’s entertainers and new midway rides.

Opening ceremonies, which will include a flag raising, will begin at noon Friday, August 13. Throughout the week there is something to do in the Entertainment Tent, including karaoke and a talent show. Ribbons will be awarded to livestock, arts and crafts, photography, and food. There will also be displays of new and antique farm equipment for the edification of guests.

“Trying to get ready is a huge job,” said Fair Chairman Fred Green. And with the amount of entertainment in store, you can see why. There will be camel and helicopter rides on the midway, along with a new thrill ride. “There are two seats back-to-back, and they go around in a circle and rise up,” Green said. “Everything’s turning, and you’re flipping upside down.” Tip: don’t eat before you get on this one.

Most of the midway rides and games at the Miami County Fair will be provided by Burton Brothers Entertainment. Diana Thompson, executive director of the Miami County Visitors Bureau, explains that Burton Brothers are “a very sought after entertainment company. They have a high level of integrity, and are very professional people.” But they certainly seem to know how to have fun, given the fun and games they’ll be providing on the midway.

If roller coasters and dromedaries aren’t your cup of tea, there’s plenty of other trouble to rustle up on the Fairgrounds. “We’re filled up this year,” said Green of the fair’s merchants. “The merchant building and the concessions building are both full.” There are also the fair animal auctions. Thursday, the bulk of the animals will be auctioned off, but Wednesday night is the Champion Auction, when all the blue ribbons winners will go on the block. “Champion turkeys, goats, rabbits, sheep, chickens…We try and build it up like it’s the Ohio State Fair,” Green added.

Besides the animals, there will be motorcycle races on Friday night – free to anyone attending the fair – and wrestling on Saturday, complete with professional wrestlers. For small children, Buford Bear, a strolling entertainer, will be making rounds of the fair in his truck. “Buford is known for finding little kids,” said Thompson, “for being silly and telling jokes.”

In particular, the big draw of the Miami County Fair is undoubtedly the Sunday night concert on August 15. Thompson says “a representative for Variety Entertainment sits down with the entertainment committee each and every year to discuss various possibilities.” This year, the committee settled on country star Neal McCoy, with opening act Eden’s Edge. “Eden’s Edge is an up and coming band,” she said. “A few years back, we had an up and coming band, and now they’re huge: Lady Antebellum.”

Interviewed last week by phone, Neal McCoy said he’s “excited about (the fair). I want to put on a good show.” He also says, of himself and his band, “We work in Ohio a lot. You have some great bands, and some great
radio stations.”

Though he has never worked with a set list in his 30 years of performing, McCoy already knows what he’ll be playing on the 15th. “We’re liable to do anything from Frank Sinatra to Led Zeppelin.” However, he adds, this time they will be playing mostly country music, including original songs. McCoy promises that concertgoers will have “as good a time as they’ve ever had at a concert.” The music starts at 8 p.m., and tickets, priced at $15 and $20, are available in person, by mail, by phone at (937) 335-7492 or online at www.MiamiCountyOhioFair.com.

Whichever event you’re most looking forward to, it’s clear that the Miami County Fair is going to be six days of excitement and fun for everyone who attends. Admission is $5 per person, and on Wednesday, August 18, seniors, children 9 and under, and veterans and their spouses can get in to the fair for free. For anyone who enjoys stuffing themselves with deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried Oreos, and deep-fried pickles (and let’s be real, we all love it), not to mention taking a few rides on the Scrambler or Ferris wheel, the Miami County Fair is not to be missed. Just take I-75 to exit 78, and proceed south for three miles on 25-A to the Fairgrounds.

For more information, call (937) 335-7492
or visit online at www.MiamiCountyOhioFair.com

Reach DCP freelance writer Lara Donnelly at contactus@daytoncitypaper.com

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