Fair-goers get an upside-down thrill on the Fire Ball Saturday night at the fairgrounds.
Morrison / Blade photo Enlarge
WAUSEON - The Fulton County Fair set an attendance record of almost 60,800 on Sunday when the county's Ohio bicentennial bell was cast and 93 couples were honored for being married at least 50 years.
A sold-out grandstand performance by Christian comedians Mark Lowry and Chonda Pierce and temperate weather helped the fair draw 5,600 more people than Sunday last year.
On Monday, however, continual rains were problematic.
The fair's biggest name show of country music stars Neal McCoy and Trace Adkins was moved from the grandstand to the show arena.
Trucks of equipment for the show would have become stuck in the mud near the grandstand, fair board president Carl Buehrer said.
Not all of the 4,000 ticket holders were able to squeeze into the show arena and the fair board refunded some tickets Monday.
It was the first time that rain has interfered with the Labor Day show since the 1970s, Mr. Buehrer said.
The fair opened to rain on Friday with 17,539 people, down from 24,538 last year.
Saturday's figures were 50,155, up from 48,486 last year.
The fair closes at 11 tonight after the demolition derby.
The junior fair livestock sale, which starts at 9 this morning, is the other big attraction today.
Walter Bates, a retired teacher who has been active in historical preservation efforts in Fulton County, rang the bicentennial bell for the first time in a ceremony late Sunday afternoon.
He spoke to hundreds of people crowded around the stage about the importance of bells for communication throughout history.
Honored as king and queen of the Golden Wedding Party were Arthur and Magdalena Volkman, who were married Feb. 21, 1937.
The fair's Junior Fair Queen is Kayanne Leininger, a 10-year member of the Franklin Blue Ribbons 4-H Club who has exhibited dairy cows, goats, sewing, gardening, and decorating projects.
She is studying business at Northwest State Community College.
King is Andrew Harris, a 10-year member of Pike Kountry Kids 4-H Club who has exhibited beef feeder calves and steers.
He graduated from Delta High School this year and is an apprentice meat cutter at Community Market in Delta.
Owner of the grand champion market hog - one of the fair's most competitive contests with 240 entries - is Aimee Genter.
She exhibited a 247-pound, crossbred hog through the Pettisville Ever-Ready 4-H Club.
Her older brother, A.J., had the grand champion last year. Aimee, 17, a senior at Pettisville High School who lives in German Township, exhibited the fourth place hog in the Ohio State Fair's youth show of 845 hogs last month.
Other grand champions included:
Market lamb: Brad King, chosen from 112 entries.
Market rabbit: William Hoffman, chosen from 92 entries.
Breeding rabbit: Meagan Helmke, chosen from 102 entries.
Steer: Shawn Langenderfer, chosen from 39 entries.
Beef feeder calf: Kaitlin Nofziger, chosen from 66 entries.
Dairy feeder calf: Adriane Bruner, chosen from 88 entries.
Market goat: Jenna Nofziger, chosen from 35 entries.
Market chickens: Paul Schoenhals, chosen from 28 entries.
Horse showmanship: Danielle Perry, senior award, and Cassie Norris, junior award, chosen from 85 entries.