2019 Madison County Fair: Nashville acts, rodeo, dinosaurs

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Children and adults alike can get up close and personal with dinosaurs during Dino-ROAR Ohio shows at this year’s Madison County Fair.

(Posted Jan. 17, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

At least two Nashville acts with songs in the Top 10 on the country music charts will perform at this year’s Madison County Fair. Who are they? Time will tell.

“We’re still waiting on signed contracts. We will announce the artists in March,” said Bob Richardson, fairgrounds manager.

The concert is slated for Sunday, July 7, the first night of the 2019 fair. This year’s fair dates are July 7-13. Richardson said that in addition to the two acts slated for the evening concert, the fair board might contract with other acts to perform earlier in the day.

He said the senior fair board is making a “huge investment” in the musical entertainment for the fair. With the announcement of the artists in March, the board also will announce concert sponsors and start selling advance tickets.

At their January meeting, the board firmed up other fair week entertainment, including two new attractions–Broken Horn Rodeo on Wednesday, July 9, and Dino-ROAR Ohio Tuesday-Thursday, July 8-10.

Broken Horn Rodeo, based in Ripley, Ohio, will bring seven events, from steer wrestling to bull riding, to this year’s Madison County Fair.

“We’re bringing back a rodeo because we have had a lot of inquiries and interest,” Richardson said. “Broken Horn comes highly recommended. They’ve been in business for nearly 30 years.”

The fair has been without a rodeo attraction for a few years. The company the fair used in the past would put on two or three events. In contrast, Broken Horn puts on a full rodeo featuring seven events–saddle bronc riding, bareback horse riding, steer wrestling, tie-down calf roping, barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.

“We’re a professional rodeo with professional cowboys,” said owner Jim McElroy. “We also welcome some local amateur cowboys to keep the community involved.”

Based in Ripley, Ohio, southeast of Cincinnati, McElroy and his wife, Sandra, started Broken Horn in 1991. It is the largest and busiest rodeo company in the International Professional Rodeo Association. In Ohio alone, the company will put on 16 rodeos this year.

“We’ll probably have cowboys from all over the United States at the Madison County Fair rodeo,” McElroy said, adding that Broken Horn carries some of the best stock in the country.

Animals of another kind are the stars of Dino-ROAR, an educational show about dinosaurs. The Belpre, Ohio, company will present three one-hour shows daily, Tuesday-Thursday of the fair.

Owners J.D. and Leann Nicolais and their crew use hand puppets, body suits, and animatronics to teach audiences about all kinds of dinosaurs. Children and adults are invited to pet, interact with, and have their pictures taken with the dinosaurs, which range in size from three feet long to a 15-foot long, ridable Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Additionally, Dino-ROAR, in business for three years, offers a fossil tent. Between the show and the tent, visitors learn fun facts like: all female dinosaurs were larger than their male counterparts, and all dinosaurs came from eggs that were up to eight inches long.

“It’s one of the coolest, interactive things I’ve seen,” Richardson said of the show.

Additional entertainment set for this year’s fair includes returning attractions. KOI dirt drag racing is back on Monday night. Truck and tractor pulls return on Tuesday night and Friday night, respectively. Fast Traxx motocross is back on Thursday night. And in keeping with tradition, the Smash-It demolition derby rounds out the week on Saturday, the last day of the fair.

“We’ll be announcing some more entertainment later on,” Richardson added.

Go to madisoncountyfairoh.com for details.

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