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County fair season about to hit full stride!

Floyd County fairgrounds
SOMEONE MUST BE FIRST: Floyd County took the honors this year for the earliest fair in Indiana. The fair was held June 7-10 in New Albany.
Throwback Thursday: How many fairs have you visited? Here’s my list.

Floyd County kicked off the county fair season in Indiana when the fair began on June 7. DeKalb County will conclude it with its traditional fair held Sept. 25-30.

All 92 counties have a fair of one sort or another, and no two are alike. You can find a list of all county fairs and their dates for 2017 if you Google “Indiana county fair dates.”

If your goal is to attend all county fairs at least once in your life, how are you doing? Maybe you should pick out a few to attend this year.

Just to get you in the mood, here are some county fairs I have attended. Look for more next week!

Adams. I watched my niece and nephew on my wife’s side show cattle there in the 1980s. It’s a small fair with lots of friendly folk!

Allen. It doesn’t really count unless you attended this fair when it was held in the basement of the Fort Wayne coliseum! I’ve been there and to the new fairgrounds north of the city near Indiana State Highway 3. My most vivid memory is watching birds poked out of a mailbox on stilts during a “chicken fly” event at the old fairgrounds in the mid-1980s. This probably wouldn’t “fly” today.

• Bartholomew. I have a vague memory of being in the cattle barn as a young child, seeing a friend’s calf. That was at the old fairgrounds. They tell me it was located close to where the Fair Oaks Mall is today. More recently, my wife and I walked the livestock barn at the new fairgrounds. All livestock is in one super-long building. 

Benton. This fair is small and short in length, but full of family spirit and fun. I’ve watched my niece and nephew show sheep in the arena there.

Decatur. The tub of shelled corn to play in at the Farm Bureau tent was a hit with our grandkids when we visited last year. I was partial to the fish and tenderloin sandwiches served up by local groups.

DeKalb. I never knew people held fairs in September until I met my wife. Carla took me to DeKalb County to watch a cattle show one Sunday afternoon years ago. September fairs were especially common in western Ohio.

Delaware. Some of you remember the late Craig Sherbahn, Columbia City. Craig and I shared an apartment at Purdue University one summer. One evening I drove him to the Delaware County Fair where he judged the steer show. That’s about as close as I want to get to judging anything with four legs!

• Fulton. My experience in Fulton County was going with someone I was interviewing for lunch at noon. It’s been a while, but it’s a good bet lunch there involved either a tenderloin or fish sandwich!

Hancock. Our middle daughter, Ashley, worked a booth at the Hancock County Fair one night to make money for her FFA district officer team. I also remember watching a dairy show. Do they still have one in Hancock County? If they do, let me know!

Hendricks. OK, this goes way back. I attended when the fair was at the old county fairgrounds on the east side of Danville. We watched a hog show, as I recall. The new fairgrounds is super-modern.

Well, that’s 10 county fairs. Tune in next week for more. Email me at tom.bechman@penton.com and tell me why I should attend your county fair this year.

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