The Franklin County Fair is set to unfold. Organizers have everything in place to welcome 4-Hers and the community to the fairgrounds next week.
The event is the oldest continuing running fair in the state as it enters its 154th year. This year’s fair is a day longer than in past years and officially opens Tuesday with the first livestock judging on Wednesday morning and ends on Sunday night with bracelet night at the carnival.
The fair still has all the crowd favorites — the carnival rides, variety of food vendors, demolition derby and barbeque dinner — plus some relatively new activities such as the Ranch Rodeo and fair concert, which features a performance by Dustin Evans and the Good Times Band.
“We can’t wait to make this another fabulous fair,” Melissa Hatfield, fair president, said. “The fair is one largest events hosted in Franklin County every year.”
The fair board put many hours of behind the scenes planning and work since the end of last year’s fair.
“Right after last year’s fair, we set up a survey we sent out to all our superintendents and volunteers of the different exhibit areas and fair board members,” Hatfield said. “What did we do well? What is it that we should not do? What is it that we should be doing that we are not? We did some research of other fairs.”
The conclusion of that survey was to add a day to the fair.
“What it allowed us to do is change up our schedule for our livestock shows,” Hatfield said. “This will enable us to bring in all of our 4-H animals and projects before we start getting the public engaged. It will put less stress on the 4-Hers and also the animals that are coming in.”
She said the relaxing of the schedule gives 4-H families a chance to enjoy the fair and attend the other events.
“If you are a family that is actually exhibiting, you don’t have time to sit back and enjoy the fair,” Hatfield said. “You don’t get to go to the events in the evenings. The fair is about connecting with people in the community.”
She said by extending the fair by a day, it opened up space for other animal exhibits that were scheduled prior to the fair in previous years.
“If you exhibit at the Franklin County Fair, you [should be] there during the fair,” Hatfield said.
Hatfield said examples of such events are the dog and horse shows. She said previously the dog show was on the Monday before the fair began.
“If you have a love for canines, we encourage people to come out and see what they do in the dog show,” Hatfield said. “You have to be a Franklin County 4-H’er [to show]. They have a showmanship class.”
Hatfield said the fair board set up an air conditioned tent to give relief to those that out in the heat. The tent will be used for the barbeque and a couple of other events, she said.
“We have places for you to cool down,” Hatfield said. “We have drinks, lemonades, tea and water you can cool down with. We encourage people to come out. It is going to be a fun time.”