July bulges with county fairs all across Indiana. If you haven’t attended a fair yet, there’s plenty of time to do so. Get ready for cotton candy, corn-on-the-cob, homemade ice cream, livestock shows and much more!
One week ago I tried to set the mood for attending a county fair by sharing experiences of fairs I’ve attended at one time or another.
Here are more fairs I have been to. Maybe my going will spark your interest in checking out more county fairs this year. Tune in again next week as I finish my list of county fairs that I have visited in Indiana. And meanwhile, see if there is a fair you want to attend this year!
• Howard. A farmer whom I visited took me to this fair one afternoon many years ago. What I remember best is eating, of course. It was early for supper, but it didn’t stop me from chowing down on fair food. If memory serves me correctly, this one included corn-on-the-cob.
• Huntington. I know I attended a cattle show at the fairgrounds in the 1980s. Whether it was during the fair or not, I am not as sure. However, I included this one because I almost took up residence in Huntington County. I was offered the 4-H youth educator position there in 1978, but declined and continued to teach. At the time I interviewed for that position, the livestock shows were held outside.
• Jackson. If you’re looking for an old-time fair where the community really enjoys each minute, this is it. People sit in lawn chairs on the grassy hill and just enjoy the atmosphere. The last time my wife, Carla, and I attended, we decided to watch the 4-H Master Showmanship contest. The judge arrived late because of a mix-up in what time the fair was on, but it was worth the wait. Never pass up an opportunity to watch young 4-H’ers give it their best at showmanship.
• Jefferson. Relatives showed hogs at this fair, so one evening a few years back we ventured down to watch the hog show. People flock in for that show. I remember the ceiling seemed low in the show arena. If you attend this year, you won’t get that feeling. Lonnie Mason, Extension educator there, says they have literally “raised the roof” on the show arena, making the building taller.
• Johnson. This is my home county. The question is not have I attended, but how many times? This fair also has a livestock judging contest for all 4-H’ers, mainly for fun after most shows are over. It happens Thursday morning at the fair, and is sponsored by the Franklin FFA Chapter.
• Marion. Livestock is no longer a big deal at this fair, but it has a carnival that rivals the state fair. It’s located near Wanamaker, on the outskirts of Indianapolis.
• Morgan. One of the latest fairs in the state, this one is all about the food booths for me. Most are operated by civic or ag commodity groups. You can find about any kind of sandwich you want, as long as it is fried! This fair features a whole row of these “only find at the county fair” food booths, tents and trailers. They even tell me the Boy Scouts sell fried doughnuts. I haven’t found them yet, but I plan to scout harder for them this year!
• Putnam. The sheep show is interesting at this fair, held inside the dome-shaped show arena on the northern outskirts of Greencastle. What I really found cool was the dairy food booth, located appropriately inside the 4-H dairy cattle barn!