More fair food, fun: Lots of new offerings at ’16 county fair


By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]



An additional night of harness racing has been added for the 2016 Clinton County Fair. Shown, a driver and his trotter get some pre-fair work in last summer.


Vocalist Alyssa Oeder, a featured entertainer at last year’s Clinton County Fair, returns to the fair in 2016.


Spectators filled the grandstand on a Saturday night at last year’s Clinton County Fair, as others stood up and watched and still more people sat in an area close to the action for the demolition derby. There were plenty of smash-up collisions in a lawnmower class of vehicles pictured above. The purple vehicle on the right was named Grape Ape.


WILMINGTON — An entire day of free rides will be included in the $7 daily admission paid at the gate on Monday, July 11 at the Clinton County Fair.

Called “Ride Free Monday,” the offer is new for this year’s fair, which runs July 9-16.

“We’re trying to increase participation at the fairgrounds during the week,” said Greta Gray, who’s on the Clinton County Agricultural Society (Fair Board’s) Board of Directors.

The special deal means a $9 savings for the ride arm-band that otherwise is required daily to go on the amusement rides at the fairgrounds. That waiver can make a tremendous difference for a family coming to the fair, Gray said.

To participate, the daily admission ticket must be turned in July 11 at the Otterbacher Shows ticket booth to receive a ride arm-band. This new offer is sponsored by the Clinton County Agricultural Society, Otterbacher Shows, and the News Journal.

New also is horseback roping, which will be held on Tuesday evening in a team roping contest, and on Friday morning in a Junior Fair roping horse show, both at the horse arena.

In team roping, there are two people riding separate horses. One rider ropes the head of the cow, the other rider ropes the feet, said Gray.

To take part in the Junior Fair Roping Horse Show, the youths have to be enrolled in a 4-H horse project, said Clinton County Junior Fair Coordinator Ann Foxworthy.

A new concessionaire at the fair, Burgitto Bistro, will run the kitchen at the 4-H Food Pavilion. The vendor is from the Clinton County area and, among other items, sells a hamburger inside a tortilla.

Other new food available at the fair this year includes Amish doughnuts and Amish soft pretzels.

And after a one-year absence, Chinese food will be back for fair-goers. The vendor comes highly recommended from three fairs, said Gray, adding that the food trailer will sit on the row of vendors that’s near the sound stage at the dealership building.

On Saturday, July 9 to Monday, July 11, a concessionaire will be located near the horse arena, which is a distance away from the fairgrounds’ midway. At press time, the anticipated vendor sells ice cream and sandwiches.

Another change for the 2016 fair is WiFi that provides Internet access in certain fairground areas such as campsites and most buildings. There are price options for anyone wanting to log on for more than 15 minutes per day.

The basic WiFi service is $7 per day for two devices. Campers, for an extra charge, can obtain an RV Kit Rental.

“That allows you to get the service inside that tin can, essentially,” Gray said.

The company furnishing the WiFi services is NetSteady Communications, which has been utilized by the Ohio State Fairgrounds and the Farm Science Review.

Helicopter rides at the fair return for a second year, and probably will start on Tuesday, July 12.

The helicopter company offers helicopter rides at the state fair, said Gray.

“Not only do we try to find new things, but we try to really vet out the attraction and make sure they’re safe,” she added.

An added day of harness racing is scheduled this year, after years of just one night of the sport. Harness racing is planned for both Sunday and Monday, starting at 4 p.m. at the grandstand.

To help the harness racing participants and their animals, a complimentary tent will be set up to stable their horses and keep them out of hot sunlight.

The photographs in the photography show will be divided between Expo Hall and Floral Hall (Merchant Hall) next door. Last summer, more than 700 photographs were entered in the competition.

A new class has been added to the Wednesday evening tractor pulls — the Clinton County Shootout, in which only Clinton County residents can participate.

The event will spotlight Clinton County’s super stock, pro stock and light pro stock pullers, all in one class.

“We have quite a few pullers here in the county,” remarked Gray.

The antique tractor pull has been moved to the first Saturday, July 9. Gray said there are some better classes than previously offered at the fair in the antique pull classes.

It’s the first year for Table Style of Clinton County — a Junior Fair place-setting contest in the newly improved Peterson Building. The contest has a patriotic theme, and participants have to bring in a menu suitable for the place setting represented.

Presentation is everything in this event, Foxworthy said.

It will be the second year for the Taste of Clinton County contest. Participants this year are to bring in salads, already prepared, and have enough so that people can buy tickets to sample.

It’s also the second year for a dairy judging contest on the Junior Fair schedule, said Foxworthy.

Not new, but worth noting for those looking to save $7: Veterans are admitted free to the fairgrounds Tuesday, as are senior citizens on the same day. Anyone 60 or older is eligible for the senior citizens’ free admission on Tuesday, July 12.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

2016 Fair: Grandstand activities

Saturday, July 9:

9 a.m. Antique Tractor Pull/Garden Tractor Pull

7 p.m. Demolition Derby

Sunday, July 10:

4 p.m. Harness Racing

Monday, July 11:

4 p.m. Harness Racing

Tuesday, July 12:

7:30 p.m. 4-H/FFA Olympics

Wednesday, July 13:

7 p.m. Fair Honoree Presentation

7 p.m. Tractor Pull/Clinton Co. Shootout

Thursday, July 14:

7 p.m. Truck Pull 4WD

Friday, July 15:

7 p.m. Truck & Tractor Pull

Saturday, July 16:

11:30 a.m. Kiddie Tractor Pull

7 p.m. NTPA National Regional Truck & Tractor Pull

2016 Fair: Entertainment schedule

Saturday, July 9:

2 p.m. Evan Lanier & Bluegrass Express

3 p.m. & 5 p.m. Antique Power Club of Clinton Co. Big Engine Demonstrations

8 p.m. The Kate Hasting Band

Sunday, July 10:

6 p.m. Mr. Chris Midwest Talent Search

Monday, July 11:

8 p.m. Alyssa Oeder

Tuesday, July 12:

7 p.m. Team Roping Contest

8 p.m. Rock N Country

Wednesday, July 13:

8 p.m. Oak

Thursday, July 14:

6 p.m. Gospel music

Friday, July 15:

8 p.m. Willow Creek

Saturday, July 16:

8 p.m. Richard Lynch Band

How To Go:

Clinton County Fair, July 9-16 at

the fairgrounds in Wilmington

Daily gate entry: $7; 8 & under free

Season pass: $25

Rides open 1-5 p.m. and 6-11 p.m.

Gates close 11 p.m.

An additional night of harness racing has been added for the 2016 Clinton County Fair. Shown, a driver and his trotter get some pre-fair work in last summer.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_harness-racing.jpgAn additional night of harness racing has been added for the 2016 Clinton County Fair. Shown, a driver and his trotter get some pre-fair work in last summer.

Vocalist Alyssa Oeder, a featured entertainer at last year’s Clinton County Fair, returns to the fair in 2016.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_oeder_f.jpgVocalist Alyssa Oeder, a featured entertainer at last year’s Clinton County Fair, returns to the fair in 2016.

Spectators filled the grandstand on a Saturday night at last year’s Clinton County Fair, as others stood up and watched and still more people sat in an area close to the action for the demolition derby. There were plenty of smash-up collisions in a lawnmower class of vehicles pictured above. The purple vehicle on the right was named Grape Ape.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_FairDemoDerby1.jpgSpectators filled the grandstand on a Saturday night at last year’s Clinton County Fair, as others stood up and watched and still more people sat in an area close to the action for the demolition derby. There were plenty of smash-up collisions in a lawnmower class of vehicles pictured above. The purple vehicle on the right was named Grape Ape.

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]

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