Last updated: August 06. 2014 5:51PM - 107 Views
By Belinda M. Paschal bpaschal@civitasmedia.com

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TROY — With the Miami County Fair kicking off tomorrow, the fair office is doing brisk business and the fairgrounds are buzzing with last-minute preparations.

“So far, everything is going well. We’re getting the tents set up, benches pulled out, parking spots numbered, and selling passes,” said Jill Wright, secretary/manager for the Miami County Agricultural Society, listing just a few of the tasks required to prepare for opening day.

Opening ceremonies for the fair will be held at noon Friday in the stadium, with rides and games opening at 4 p.m.

Fairgoers can expect a new look at the fairgrounds, since some buildings have been switched around. For instance, the south barn that served as the merchants building in 2013 will be the rabbit/poultry barn for this year’s fair. Because poultry entries have nearly doubled, the barn will better accommodate the growing numbers, Wright said.

The barn that held rabbits last year will now be the merchant building to provide more visibility and easier access for vendors.

The goat barn also has been upgraded, thanks to donations from local businesses and individuals. The barn was graded down and leveled, with new limestone and pea gravel put down, solving the problem of flooding when it rains.

Much maintenance has been done on the fairgrounds to prevent any permanent damage from the flooding in May, said

Also new this year will be a triple-header country concert — a first for the fair’s entertainment lineup. The three-act show will feature Chase Rice, Sam Hunt and Covington native Clark Manson.

Ticket sales for the Saturday night stadium concert have been “phenomenal,” said Roberta Jacobs, a member of the fair entertainment committee.

As of Wednesday, there were a few seats still available on the track for $20 each, and $12 stadium seats were going fast, Jacobs noted.

Though this year’s changes are designed to enhance the fair-going experience, several mainstays are expected to draw crowds as well. One thing that hasn’t changed is the popular “theme” days.

Kids Fun Day will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, with children 10 and under admitted for free. One parent per child also will be able to attend the fair free of charge.

Attractions for the smallfry will include a clown, a straw maize, a demonstration by the WACO Air Museum, and a station with a representative from Miami County soil and water. McDonald’s is supplying some of the items to provide the children with lunch, which will be prepared by the Troy Kiwanis Club. Menu items will include include hot dogs, apple slices, potato chips, juice box or bottled water.

First Responder Day will be Tuesday, Aug. 12, when one EMT, police, firefighter and a family member will be admitted free with proper I.D.

Wednesday, Aug. 13, will be both Senior Citizens Day and Armed Forces Day. Veterans with proper I.D. and their spouses will be admitted for free, as will those who are 65 and older.

Though all the last-minute preparations are in check, there’s one variable out of fair organizers’ control — the weather. Reports are calling for showers and thunderstorms on Friday, but with it being the day one of the much-anticipated fair, perhaps fairgoers’ spirits won’t be dampened.

“With the tractor pulls being that night, sometimes people like it wet and muddy,” Wright said hopefully. “People love the fair, so they’re still going to come.”

In addition to the tractor pull, which takes place at 7 p.m. in the stadium, Friday will offer performances by Collin Richards at 4:30 p.m. and Broken Lights at 7 p.m. in the entertainment tent, the Miami County Dog Royalty Competition, goat, gilt and sheep shows, a drill team performance, a Best of Show baked goods auction and more.

General admission to the fair is $5 each day. Children 8 and under are admitted free. A season pass for seven daily admission tickets is available for $20, with wristband re-entry starting at noon.

For ride specials, a daily schedule and other information about the fair, visit www.miamicountyohiofair.com.

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