Fair just around the corner – Marion Star

MARION – Food trucks, amusement park rides and mobile campers rolled onto the Marion County Fairgrounds this weekend, preparing for the annual Marion County Fair this week.

The fair kicks off Monday and runs through Saturday. Overcast skies may hang over fair-goers, with clouds and a mild chance of rain and thunderstorms projected for most of the week, according to the National Weather Service.

But also in the projections is a week full of clamoring livestock, fair food, roaring monster trucks and heart-thumping amusement rides.

It is the final fair for fairgrounds manager Candy Tripp, who is retiring after 28 years with the Marion County Fair Board.

Tripp said Friday she was looking forward to seeing the vendors and contractors who have become friends over the years.

“A lot of these people I see only at the fair. It’s a good reunion of sorts,” she said.

Margo Long, of Ohio State University Extension, estimated that about 450 4-H and FFA members will compete in the fair. For them, it will be a reunion of sorts, too.

“I know a lot of them just love having the opportunity to be here all week long and see their friends that they may or may not see” at school, Long said.

The fair’s first ever cornhole tournament will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday, with all proceeds from T-shirt sales and registration fees benefiting the Marion County 4-H Advisory Board.

This year’s fair will include grandstand entertainment such as harness racing at 11 a.m.  Monday and Tuesday, a tough truck competition on Monday, a performance by local classic rock band Omega Kick followed by Independence Day fireworks on Tuesday, a truck pull on Wednesday and a tractor pull on Thursday. A monster truck showdown will be on Friday, and the demolition derby takes place Saturday.

Grandstand entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m. every day, with Tuesday’s fireworks going off at 10 p.m. Bates Amusement will operate the rides, which open every day at noon.

Monday is senior citizens’ day and admission is free with a canned food donation from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A $3 lunch will be served to the first 250 senior citizens, ages 55 and older, who arrive at the Coliseum at noon.

Kids ages 12 and younger will get in free on Wednesday, kid’s day. The pedal tractor pull gets underway at noon Wednesday.

Friday is veteran’s day, with veterans and their guests receiving free breakfast from 8-10 a.m., after which a ceremony recognizing their service will take place.

The livestock sale rounds out the junior fair starting at 9 a.m. Saturday in Evers Arena.

If you go

Daily gate admission: $8, children 10 and younger admitted free. Junior Fair admission $3.

Ride tickets: $1. Kiddie rides require three tickets, major rides require four tickets. Unlimited all-day ride pass is $14; Junior Fair exhibitor ride pass is $10.

Grandstand admission: free.

Pit passes: $10 for ages 4 and older.

Inside: Fair entertainment schedule, Page 3A

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