Sunday, July 15, 2001

It's fair time in Warren Co.

Special events highlight 150th anniversary

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — Warren County may be best known for its colorful history, its upscale suburbs and its antique and specialty shops. But next week, the area shines a spotlight on its agricultural heritage.

        The 150th Warren County Fair opens Monday with special festivities, a parade and, weather permitting, the launch of a fleet of hot-air balloons. To mark the event's sesquicentennial, fair officials have assembled six days' worth of crowd-pleasing entertainment.

    What: Warren County Fair
    When: 4-11:30 p.m. Monday, parade at 7 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
    Where: County Fairgrounds, Ohio 48 north of downtown Lebanon
    Admission: $6 per person; children 12 and under free. Grandstand events are free
    Parking: $1
    Information: 932-2636.
        “On Tuesday, we're having a sanctioned rodeo, Rockin' B Rodeo,” said fair secretary Tari Maddox. “Kachunga and the Alligator Show will present daily shows, talking about wildlife awareness. And of course we'll have a demolition derby Thursday and Saturday nights, with a tractor pull on Friday. As part of the tractor pull there will be a 4x4 truck pull.”

        But a lot of the action will take place away from the grandstand. In the barns and straw-littered arenas, farmers and 4H'ers will put months of labor on the line, and wait anxiously to see how their livestock and produce fare in competition.

        “It's a place for you to see your work and how it measures up,” explained 4H club member Neicole Keller, 17, of Loveland. “You know every kid works as hard as you; it's that one judge's opinion that counts.”

        Neicole, who also serves on the Junior Fair Board, is spending the weekend at the fairgrounds preparing the livestock areas and grooming her own animals for the shows. She's bringing two market goats, two market hogs and a market steer.

        “Last year I sold a market steer, then went to the Clermont County Fair and bought a feeder calf. He's 1,200 pounds now. I'm debating whether I want to do another steer after this, because my senior year is going to be very busy.”

        Today's 4H'ers are not necessarily tomorrow's farmers, but their projects still provide valuable experience, said Kara Colvin, Warren County's 4H agent.

        “A lot of the things they learn as part of that project they can use no matter what they do in life,” she said.

        In addition to animals, 4H exhibits include photography, clothing, crafts, model rockets and airplanes.

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