Saturday, August 23, 2003

Ky. fair good this year; centennial will be great



By Ellen R. Stapleton
The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - The horse owners won't pull out their trailers and the food vendors won't close up their stands until Sunday when the Kentucky State Fair ends its 11-day run. Yet plans are already in full swing for the 2004 fair - a 100th birthday party fitting for an event that has grown into a Kentucky trademark.

The centennial logo has been unveiled, and the call is out for contributions to a historical display titled "Kentucky State Fair 100: The Exhibition."

Curator Stephanie Darst is collecting items from past fairs - postcards, photographs, programs, buttons, newspaper clippings.

Darst said the exhibit will feature a decade-by-decade look at the fair, as well as sections on entertainment, fashion and competitive departments.

Items will date back to the first Kentucky State Fair, held at Churchill Downs in 1902.

The fair jumped around to various locations, including stints in Owensboro and Lexington, before the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center debuted in 1956.

The fair was canceled only three times - in 1904 because of legal disputes, and in 1944 and 1945 because defense industries for World War II moved in to the fairgrounds.

Fair spokeswoman Amanda Storment said the fair has grown in size and scope through the years, incorporating new elements as Kentucky life became less rural.

"The fair started out as a way to showcase agricultural products, things that (farmers) had grown and livestock they had raised," she said.

"It was also for the new inventions of the time. While we continue to ... highlight the livestock aspect, we have certainly grown into an entertainment venue for families."

In an effort to get this year's fair visitors thinking ahead, Memories Day took place Tuesday. Several people donated memorabilia, such as a 1958 program autographed by performers including The Mills Brothers and Randy Atcher. Another woman brought souvenir photographs taken when she attended the fair as a child in 1937.

"To me, the most interesting things are the pictures from the '20s and '30s," Darst said. "What's so funny is how people dressed up in their fur stoles and best suits to come to the fair."

Fair staff want to capture the unofficial history of the fair too. Seniors in Heritage Hall recounted their favorite fair memories for an anniversary video.




TOP STORIES
Red Planet almost in spitting distance
Pit bulls in doghouse again
North Bend's existence in hands of voters
Norwood as 'medical mecca'

IN THE TRISTATE
Tony Orlando pinch-hits at Taste
In a new century, the dream is the same
Cemetery wants its deer departed
Search for the big gun pays off
Picture of the day: Moving in, a first-day ritual
In your schools
Regional Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Bronson: P.C. history repeats: First Miami, then Anderson
Howard: Some Good News
Faith Matters: Mothers bond together

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Chance to dunk officials nets $1,000 for United Way
Abandoned box put cops on terror alert
Countryside YMCA to celebrate 25th anniversary
Party starts school year
6-month hunt for killer ends

OBITUARIES
Dick Pike jazzed up radio's small, but legendary, WNOP
William Tepe was doctor 50 years
Charles Woeste lineman for 34 years

OHIO
New academy trains flight nurses
Expanded methadone treatment considered
Woman stabbed after saying no to beggar
Heavy-duty stretchers carrying increasingly heavy-duty patients
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
School celebrates 30 years of growth
House washed away; boy dies, two missing
Slots-at-tracks proposal likely to have easier time
Crossing guard hit by car outside school
Man gets 14 years for death of toddler
Murderer who killed woman, son loses appeal
Company of soldiers is home from Afghanistan
Ky. fair good this year; centennial will be great
Kentucky obituaries