Saturday, July 20, 2002

Clermont County Celebration starts Sunday

Bell, flag highlight fair

By Lew Moores,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        OWENSVILLE — The 153rd annual Clermont County Fair — opening Sunday — will take on added significance this year when Clermont County's Ohio Bicentennial Bell is cast on Tuesday and dedicatedWednesday, the same day the county's official flag is unveiled.

   The Clermont County Fair opens Sunday at 1 p.m. with the Fireman Parade and the grand opening at 4 p.m. The fair continues through Saturday, July 27. Hours are 8 a.m. to midnight.
   2 p.m. Tuesday: Verdin Co. of Cincinnati will be casting the county's Bicentennial Bell.
   7:30 p.m. Monster truck show.
   Noon Wednesday: Dedication of Bicentennial Bell.
   1 p.m. Unveiling of official Clermont County flag.
   7:30 p.m. Truck and tractor pulls.
   10 a.m. Friday,: Junior livestock sale begins.
   6 p.m. Rabbit Hash Band performs.
   10 a.m. Saturday, July 27: Junior livestock sale.
   Admission is $5 for adults 12 and older before 3 p.m.; $7 after 3 p.m. Children ages 6 to 11 is $2; five and under free.
        The weeklong celebration of the county's agrarian roots will otherwise be a down-home, old-fashioned festival featuring livestock, produce, rides, food, displays and entertainment.

        Ask Harold Herron, the fair's executive director, what the county fair is all about and his answer is to the point: “I can describe it in one word — tradition. It was started for farmers to display their agricultural products. When it started in 1849 it was probably a big social event, and it still is. People would hitch up their horses; pack some fried chicken, pies and cakes; and head off for the fair. It carries a lot of tradition.”

        More than 75,000 people are expected to attend the fair over the course of seven days, with each day running 8 a.m. to midnight. Hundreds of youths will participate in the 4-H competitions, and hundreds of volunteers are involved in making sure the fair runs smoothly.

        Visitors will be able to see more than 200 goats, 60 market steers, 75 feeder calves, 275 hogs, 100 lambs, 100 chickens, 150 rabbits and about 250 horses.

        Walt Bumgarner, the county's Ohio State University extension agent for 4-H Youth Development, said 900 youths are in the county's 4-H program and a majority will participate in the fair, with about 300 taking part in the livestock program.

        “It's a family-oriented activity,” said Mr. Bumgarner. “The livestock kids may make a little money for college or buying a car, but overall they learn responsibility and getting projects done on time. This is a very big deal for them. This is the culmination of what they've been doing for the past year, the culmination of a lot of hard work in getting the livestock ready to be judged.”


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