North Union students started school this week, so that means it is also time for the annual Richwood Independent Fair.
The First Annual Richwood Tri-County Fair was held in 1892. Several citizens learned that Morris W. Hill’s racetrack in Richwood was for sale, so they called a meeting to see what the prospects were of having permanent grounds and the probable success of having a yearly permanent exhibition.
Interest was mounting, so committees were announced to make arrangements to secure enough capital stock to permit buying the necessary grounds and putting them in proper shape. The Association was formed and they purchased an extra five acres, which permitted them an extra outlet on another road. There were about 35 acres, which cost the Association about $5,100.
The Association improved the track, put up additional stalls, new pens, a dining hall and a large fine arts hall. A grandstand was erected by private parties, which reverts to the Association in five years, or they can buy it at the end of two years.
For an independent fair, the location could not be located to a better advantage, making it easy to walk for village residents and surrounded by the best pikes in the state. Over the years, the Association included more updates and buildings. One hundred and twenty-five years later, the Richwood Independent fair board continues to update facilities, bring great entertainment and is only one of six remaining independent fairs in Ohio.
This year’s fair is held Aug. 30 through Sept. 4. Many changes have been made to improve the experience at the fair.
This year, fair board members reduced the entry price and guests will receive a colored band each day. Rides are not included in the entry fee, but ride bands can be purchased each day.
The grand opening ceremonies Wednesday have been moved to 6 p.m. at the grandstands. Following the ceremonies, the Kids Day events will begin and the Kiddie Tractor Pull begins at 7 p.m., also at the grandstands. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Crowning of the fair royalty will be held at 6:45 at the livestock arena, prior to the Jr. Fair Swine Show at 7 p.m. The fair board is taking precautions of the statewide announcement of the swine flu. This year, the swine projects are only to enter the fair at the Gill Street entrance on Tuesday, Aug. 28. A veterinarian will be on site to check the hogs as they are brought in between the hours of 9 a.m. to noon, and again between 6 to 9 p.m. that same day. Each exhibitor will be given a card to keep nearby that states their hogs have been vet-checked.
Thursday’s events include Senior Citizens Day for those 62 years of age and older (free gate). The free meal will begin at 4:30 in the Bokes Creek Pavilion, provided by Bluebird Retirement. A history of Richwood will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday is also the Jr. Fair Beef Show. Fair board members wanted to honor a long-time beef supporter this year. This year’s beef show will be named the Donnie Parrott Beef Show, in his memory. He passed away earlier this year, but his support of the department will never be forgotten.
On Friday, anyone 18 years or younger, can get involved in the scavenger hunt. Meet at the pavilion at 2 p.m., get your instructions and let the hunt begin. Bingo begins at 3 p.m., a kid’s cookie decorating contest is held at 5 p.m. and Chuck Magill and Clear Run band performs at 7 p .m., all in the pavilion. The demolition derby also begins at 7 p.m. in the grandstands.
Some of the fun events on Saturday, include harness racing at 11 a.m., Cutest Baby Contest at 12:30 p.m. in the pavilion, the popular Non-Livestock 4-H and FFA sale is held at 5 p.m. in the pavilion with the cake and pie auction to follow. The grandstand comes alive at 7 p.m. when county music entertainer Drake White & The Big Fire hit the stage. His most recent hits include, “Livin’ The Dream,” and “Makin’ Me Look Good Again.” He’s sure to have you on your feet!
Sunday events include harness racing at 11 a.m., mustache & beard contest at 12:30 p.m., Pee Wee Showmanship at 1, Showman of Showmen at 2 p.m. The annual antique parade begins in front of the grandstands at 4 p.m. with antique machinery, cars and more. Martha McNamee, a longtime supporter of the fair will be the grand marshal of the parade. The featured tractor belongs to Bill Parrott. His 1940 John Deere B was the tractor that he grew up with and will be on display in the antique tractor area. The Richwood Area Ministerial Association will hold church services at the pavilion at 5 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend. The day’s activities conclude with the OSTPA Tractor Pull at 7 p.m. with four classes in competition at the grandstand.
Monday, Labor Day, concludes the six-day event with the annual livestock sale at 10:30 a.m. in the livestock ring in the barn area. Tough Truck fans will enjoy competition at 2 p.m. in the grandstand.
All day, every day, there will be animal project judging, antique machinery in action, rides, and a wide variety of more events each and every day.
Be sure to check out the web site www.richwoodfair.com for the daily schedule, and more.
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