By BRIAN BOHNERT
It’s “city meets country” this week as the 172nd annual Seneca County Fair kicks off Monday, boasting a full week of exhibits, demonstrations, entertainment and fun for the whole family.
The 2014 installment of the Seneca County Fair will run from Monday through Sunday at the Seneca County Fairgrounds, 100 Hopewell Ave., Tiffin. The week-long event will feature food, games, rides, live music, tractor pulls, farm animals and everything in between.
Phyllis Gerritsen, farm board secretary, said this year’s fair will offer many new events and activities, as well as popular mainstays returning once again to delight fairgoers young and old.
New to the Seneca County Fair this year is 22-year-old Singer/Songwriter Eric Sowers. Sowers, who hails from Sycamore, has been active in the local country music scene since picking up his first guitar in high school. According to the artist’s website, Sowers has performed everywhere regionally from Tiffin and Bascom to Kenton and Put-In-Bay.
Earlier this year he took his skills outside of Ohio to “Music City” itself, Nashville.
“We are super excited to be out there performing, especially since it is our local fair,” Sowers said. “I always remembering going to the fair as a little kid, and now we have the chance to perform and entertain the people there.
Sowers will take his acoustic act to the 2014 Farm Stage from 7-8 p.m. and from 9-10 p.m. Wednesday.
Local favorites Allie & The Rockers will perform Thursday evening, followed by Nashville Crush on Friday and artist Kali Rose on Saturday. Bowling Green-native and local rising country star Connor Rose will perform from 6-7 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. Saturday outside the Education Building. Rose, 18, has been performing for many years at area festivals, fairs and private parties. In November 2013, Rose released his debut EP, “The End of Tonight” on iTunes.
Closing out the week’s set of live music will be TGMA Gospel on Sunday, performing from 12-6 p.m.
Monday will be Veterans Day at the fairgrounds. Any veteran who shows up to the fair either wearing or bringing a part of their uniform will get in free. Other veterans will have a discounted admission of $2. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 8 a.m. at Gate 1, and will feature an all-new cannon that will be rolled out to start festivities off with a bigger bang than ever before.
“It will be able to shoot more than one cannon blast for our opening,” Gerritsen said.
Highlights for Monday’s festivities include: the Junior Fair King & Queen Contest; Agricultural Hall of Fame and the 4-H Awards. Military vehicles will also be on display throughout the day.
America’s Golden Age will be honored Tuesday when the fair presents Senior Citizens Day. Sponsored by Autumnwood Care Center and Community Hospice Care, area senior citizens age 60 or older will be celebrated with $2 admission all day and ice cream provided by Old Fort Banking.
Featured during Senior Citizens Day will be Spittin’ Image, Tiffin Washboard Band and Glenn Parks Strolling Banjo. Parks will perform from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and will then stroll around the fair. A seniors-only horseshoe competition will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Anyone else looking to get it on the horseshoe fun will have the opportunity to do so Saturday, Gerritsen said.
Participants must be at least 16 years of age and anyone entering must do so by July 19. To enter into any of the horseshoe competitions, call Chuck Holman at 419-927-2575.
Wednesday will be Ag Credit Day at the fairgrounds, and will feature various grandstand events, including: Pony Pull at 10 a.m.; Draft Horse Show at 12 p.m. and the Herval Thallman Ohio Champion Sled Horse Pull at 5 p.m.
Thursday will be highlighted by a Senior Fair Corn Hole Tournament and the IPRA Broken Horn Rodeo, which will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. All seats for the event are $7.
Friday, Mercy Tiffin Hospital Day, will feature a Kiddie Tractor Pull at 5 p.m, in addition to the day’s farm contests and judging events.
A fair favorite, the Demolition Derby, will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, and will surely garner a good crowd, Gerritsen said.
The week’s festivities will be capped off Sunday with the Class A OSTPA Tractor & Truck Pull at the grandstand. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and all grandstand and infield tickets are $10.
Rides will again be provided by Cleveland-based carnival company, McGinnis Amusements. Last year, the fair got off to a soggy start as early morning rain prevented ride trucks from arriving to the fairgrounds on time. Storm clouds continued to drop heavy showers, forcing fair officials to put off inspecting and opening the rides until the next day.
This year, Gerritsen said the fair board hopes to avoid such complications.
“Hopefully the rides will be running in the evening,” she said. “We’re hoping by Monday evening to have them set up and inspected. They’ll definitely be Tuesday through Sunday.”
All rides cost 50 cents, a price Gerritsen said is much cheaper than most other area fairs and festivals.
Also for the kids this year, Granpa Cratchet will bring his traveling puppet show to the fairgrounds, performing two to three shows per day from Tuesday through Saturday.
General admission is $6 per day for adults. Students age 9 to 18 can obtain a weekly pass for $12, while a general weekly membership for a Seneca County resident $20, as is a season pass. The fair is free to those age 8 and under. Admission does not include cost of rides.
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