MIAMI COUNTY — Break out your boots and cowboy hats because plans are well under way for the 2016 Miami County Fair, according to organizers.
Miami County Fair Board member Roberta Jacobs said the 169th year for the fair, which will be held Aug. 12-18, will offer some new events, along with many things the community has come to expect.
Jacobs said this year’s events will see an extra night of harness racing — a popular attraction at the fair — for a total of three nights this year.
The truck and tractor pulls will return on Saturday night, along with the human tractor pulls during the day.
The band spectacular has been moved to Thursday night, the last night of the fair, according to Jacobs.
“I’m kind of excited about that. The last night of the fair used to be as big as the first night of the fair. It will bring out a lot of family members — moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas.”
The popular wood carver, located along the midway, will return, along with a favorite from a few years ago, Swifty Swine.
“Everybody loved the Swifty Swine. They are hard to get, they are pretty popular,” she said. “We’re lucky to get them back; they are coming straight from the Kentucky State Fair.”
Pony rides, pro wrestling on Saturday and the mechanical bull riding all also will return.
The Burton Brothers will return with the rides for the fair.
“They have been very good to work with,” Jacobs said.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the stadium, which was completed in 1916.
“We have no plans of changing the stadium,” Jacobs said. “It will see many, many more years.”
The weather plays an important role in the success of the fair each year. Jacobs said organizers hope for a year of nice days with lower humidity — and no rain.
“The fair goes on, unless it’s dangerous weather. Rain or shine, we still have the fair,” she said. “Honestly, we just hope for no rain. If it’s not raining, people will come,” Jacobs said.
The annual Salute to Veterans ceremony will be offered on Wednesday in conjunction with Armed Forces Day, when veterans and a spouse are admitted free with ID. It is also Senior Citizens Day, when those 65 and older get in free and receive a free lunch.
“These are several things people look forward to,” Jacobs said.
Kids Day is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 15, and one parent gets in free per child under the age of 10 until 1 p.m. Kids Day will include lots of activities for kids in the morning, according to Jacobs. She said children also will receive a free lunch, special entertainment and there will be ride specials in the afternoon.
The entertainment tent promises different kinds of music every evening from local talent, including Gospel Fest on Sunday.
“That has become very popular,” Jacobs said.
The Sunday concert this year will feature Chris Janson with special guests Carter Winter and Jameson Rodgers.
Jacobs said Janson having performed at the 2016 Country Concert in the Hills has peaked interest and ticket sales are steady.
“People are saying he put on one of the best shows of the weekend,” she said.
Tickets for the concert are on sale at the secretary’s office inside the fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, online at www.miamicountyohiofair.com or call (937) 335-7492 for more information.
Fair entry will again be $5 and a season pass $20, Jacobs said, which she considers a great deal.
“For a $5 value, look at all you get,” she said of the midway, entertainment, the merchants building and more.
But, Jacobs reminds that the barns will be chock-full of livestock and other 4-H youth and adult projects.
“Of course, you can’t forget all of the barns and the kids showing their youth projects, that’s what we’re all about,” she said.
For more information, visit www.miamicountyohiofair.com.
Reach Melody Vallieu at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 552-2131