Saturday, July 06, 2002

Smashups highlight fair

Kenton adds third demolition date to schedule

By Cindy Schroeder,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDEPENDENCE — Some fairs are known for their tractor pulls or livestock auctions. Others are known for their championship horse shows.

        But at the Kenton County Fair & Horse Show, it's the “smashing and crashing,” or the Dynamite Demolition Derby, that draws the biggest crowds, said Allen Jones, vice president of the fair board.

    • What: 41st annual Kenton County Fair & Horse Show
    • When: July 15-21; rides open about 6 p.m. weeknights and operate noon to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 20.
    • Where: Fairgrounds at Taylor Mill Road (Ky. 16) and Harris Pike, Independence
    • Admission: Gate admission is $6 per person, including rides. Children 3 and under are admitted free, but need to purchase a hand stamp for rides.
    • New attractions: A dead-weight tractor pull, Sunday; demolition derby mini cars and open team penning, July 13; 4-H Dairy and Goat Shows on July 14; Barnyard Olympics on July 15; and ATV & Motorcycle Dirt Drags on July 18.
    • Information: (859) 356-3738 or try new fair Web site at
Pendleton County Fair
    • When: Sunday through July 13
    • Where: Southern Elementary School on U.S. 27 in Falmouth.
    • Information: (859) 654-3395
Gallatin County Fair
    • When:
Monday through July 13
    • Where: Gallatin County Fairgrounds off U.S. 42 in Warsaw
    • Information: (859) 567-5481
Grant County Fair
    • When:
July 26-Aug. 3
    • Where: Grant County Park, south of Crittenden on U.S. 25
    • Information: (859) 824-3355
Boone County 4-H & Utopia Fair
    • When:
Aug. 5-10
    • Where: Boone County Fairgrounds, Idlewild Road, Burlington
    • Information: Call Boone County Cooperative Extension Service at (859) 586-6101.
Alexandria Fair and Horse Show
    • When:
Kicks off with Aug. 28 parade. Fair runs through Sept. 2.
    • Where: Fairground Road, 0.7 mile east on Ky. 10 off U.S. 27 in Alexandria
    • Information: (859) 635-2667
Kentucky State Fair
    • When:
Aug. 15-25
    • Where: 837 Phillips Lane, Louisville
    • Information: (502) 367-5000 or
        The series is so popular that spectators have been known to show up hours early to stake their claim to the best hillside seat. In response to that demand, the fair's organizers have added a third demolition date to the 41st annual fair. Besides the standard competitions for mini-, full- and mid-sized classes, a pre-fair event for the screaming mini cars has been added at 7 p.m. July 13.

        “People come for the noise, the excitement and the fumes,” Mr. Jones said.

        Of the more than 30,000 expected during the fair's seven-day run, organizers say many will turn out for the demolition derby, billed as “the wildest show on the fairgrounds.”

        The mostly local drivers will compete for bragging rights, cash prizes and a championship trophy.

        Fair board president Tina Snelling said the crowd enjoys watching hometown favorites try to destroy one another's cars. Along with the truck and tractor pulls, the demolition derby has been one of the fair's biggest draws, she said.

        “I think people like to watch the demo derby for a lot of the same reasons that they like to go to NASCAR races,” Mr. Jones said. “It has everything NASCAR has, except the speed.”

        For those who aren't into watching local drivers engage in legal road rage, this year's fair boasts plenty of other attractions, organizers say.

        New this year are 4-H dairy and goat shows, a barnyard olympics competition, open team penning in which horses pick cattle out of a herd, and ATV and motorcycle dirt drags.

        “You have to diversify and try new things, if you want to increase the attendance for your fair,” Mr. Jones said.

        One of the fair's highlights is expected to be the sale of championship livestock on July 17, Mr. Jones and Mrs. Snelling said. Last year's sale generated more than $103,000, making it the highest grossing youth livestock auction in Kentucky.

        “Even with Kenton County becoming less and less agricultural, we try to keep (those components) in place because of our county and state heritage,” Mr. Jones said. “We wouldn't exist without the farmer.”

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