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Published: Monday, 7/31/2006

Wood County will usher in '06 fair with blast of heat

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Nick Kubiak, left, and Evan Bates judge wine during a competition at the Wood County Fair, which opened yesterday. Nick Kubiak, left, and Evan Bates judge wine during a competition at the Wood County Fair, which opened yesterday.
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BOWLING GREEN - The Wood County Fair is expected to have one of its hottest openings ever tomorrow: a reading of 98 degrees that will feel like 109 degrees is predicted by the National Weather Service.

For campers, that means the fair board's updates of its electrical systems - which for the first time will allow recreational vehicles to use the fair's hookups to operate air conditioners - couldn't have come at a better time.

Elsewhere on the grounds, however, only one junior fair exhibit building is air conditioned.

That might just melt sales of one of the fair's newest temptations: fudge. But Donald Bechstein, first vice president of the fair board, who is hoping for attendance of more than 100,000, said, "I'll take the heat over the rain. Rain usually does things in."

He might get both.

Erica Guyer, 11, left, a member of the Portage 4-H Club, navigates atop sheep pens at the fair. Erica Guyer, 11, left, a member of the Portage 4-H Club, navigates atop sheep pens at the fair.
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There's a chance of thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday.

Key for the fair will be good weather on Saturday night, when Mr. Bechstein said he hopes thousands of people will listen to Phil Vassar, known for songs such as "Just Another Day in Paradise," and "Six-Pack Summer," and Miranda Lambert, known for "Kerosene."

Entries are up in many junior fair livestock competitions. Tomorrow there's a new horse contest that pits the county's 4-H clubs that specialize in horses against each other for a variety of contests.

The county has about 1,250 members of 4-H and about 150 younger Clover Buds.

One of the more unusual junior fair exhibits might be the John Deere tractor restored by Aaron Hollaron, who is in his last year of 4-H and has exhibited restored tractors for several years.

"This is his thing," 4-H agent Jayne Roth said.

The Wood County Fair is known for its pork and beef sandwiches, prepared and sold at promotional prices by local farmers. The fair has about 75 food stands.

Hundreds of fairgoers will have a bed - or at least a sleeping bag - right on the grounds. About 450 camping spots are rented this year at $100 a week, up from $60 last year.

Contact Jane Schmucker at: jschmucker@theblade.com or 419-337-7780.,



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