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Published: Friday, 9/1/2006

Fairgrounds ready to roll

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Michelle Towers shows love for her friend s llamas as the animals settle in for the fair s seven-day run, starting today.
Michelle Towers shows love for her friend s llamas as the animals settle in for the fair s seven-day run, starting today.
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WAUSEON The Fulton County Fair, which expects to draw more than 250,000 people over its seven-day run, making it not only one of the area s largest fairs, but also one of the largest events of any kind in the region, opens today and continues through Thursday.

It has more of just about everything than many northwest Ohio fairs.

Fulton County boasts 30 mechanical rides, twice the number of many area fairs.

Erica Horak, 11, strokes her Black English Angora rabbit at the fairgrounds.
Erica Horak, 11, strokes her Black English Angora rabbit at the fairgrounds.
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It has 585 camping spots rented, in addition to camping space for carnival workers and vendors.

It has dozens of food stands, including many local groups promoting their product or mission. Dairy farmers will be selling milk and milkshakes. Hog farmers will be selling pork sandwiches. Cattlemen will be selling beef sandwiches.

Wauseon Music Boosters will be making cake doughnuts that they frost with a variety of icings. Pettisville Music Boosters operate an outdoor diner, selling breakfast specials, pies, and a whole menu of other offerings.

Several churches have food stands. Wauseon s First Church of God has hamburgers and corn on the cob. First Christian Church of Wauseon has homemade ice cream.

You won t go hungry, that s for sure, said Jeanne Johnson, fair secretary.

Alexis Circle, 10, left, watches her sister Bridget, 12, lead her lamb into its pen at the Fulton County Fairgrounds. The girls are both 4-H members who will participate in the fair.
Alexis Circle, 10, left, watches her sister Bridget, 12, lead her lamb into its pen at the Fulton County Fairgrounds. The girls are both 4-H members who will participate in the fair.
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Sunday is typically the biggest day of the fair. Attendance on that day alone was estimated at almost 61,000 a few years ago.

But if the weather is good, the four-day stretch from Saturday through Tuesday is typically one big, packed party at the fairgrounds. Fulton County schools don t resume until Wednesday after the long Labor Day weekend. Tuesday is fair day for students, and the fair makes the most of it with discounted mechanical ride passes that day.

Gorham Fayette Local School District closes its doors the whole week of the fair because so many students in the tiny district participate in 4-H contests, school administrators have said.

The fair board renovated a horse barn one of the oldest buildings on its grounds this year at a cost of more than $40,000, plus hundreds of hours of donated labor, Mrs. Johnson said. The barn is housing Junior Fair horses this year.

Country singer Dierks Bentley, known for What Was I Thinkin , is expected to be a hit on Labor Day night. His show at the Hancock County Fair last year sold out its 2,500 grandstand seats in Findlay. Fulton County has about 5,500 grandstand area seats.

Fair board members are already thinking about next year, which will be the fair s 150th.

They re asking this year s fairgoers to write stories about their experiences there and to search their albums and attics for old pictures of the fair. Entries, which are due Feb. 1, in three categories a fair photo from 1950 or before, a unique fair photo, or a story will be used to promote next year s 150th anniversary.

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

The Fulton County Fair opens today and runs through Thursday at the northwest corner of State Rt. 108 and the Ohio Turnpike north of Wauseon in Dover Township.

• Gate admission: $5, free for ages 15 and under when accompanied by an adult. Tomorrow , veterans and their spouses will be admitted free until 6 p.m. Tuesday, high school students will be admitted free until 6 p.m. Wednesday, anyone

age 65 and over will be admitted free until 6 p.m.

• Phone: 419-335-6006.

• Mechanical rides: Passes for unlimited access are $12.

Tuesday, passes are $9 for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rides do not

open until 4 p.m. on today, Wednesday, and Thursday.

• Web site: www.fultoncountyfair.com.

• Today: Sanctioned tractor and truck pulls at 6:30 p.m., tickets: $10, $8, and $6.

• Tomorrow: Rough truck challenge at 7:30 p.m., tickets: $10, $5, and $3.

• Sunday: The Crabb Family Southern Gospel show at 7:30 p.m., tickets: $12, $10, and $8

• Monday: Dierks Bentley at 7:30 p.m., tickets: $22, $20, and $18.

• Tuesday: Harness racing at 6:30 p.m., tickets: $1

• Wednesday: Combine demolition derby at 7:30 p.m., tickets: $10, $8, and $6.

• Thursday: Car demolition derbies at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., tickets: $15, $8, and $6.



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