Drag racing among new attractions for 2014 fair

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Drag racing, a demolition derby for kids, and an exotic animal petting zoo are among the new attractions slated for the 2014 Madison County Fair.

Senior Fair Board members booked some of the new and returning attractions while at the Ohio Fair Managers Convention held Jan. 9-12 in Columbus. This year’s fair is Sunday, July 6 through Saturday, July 12.

The drag racing event is slated for July 6 on the race track in front of the grandstand. Anyone is welcome to enter. The cost is $10 per class; all of the entry fees are paid back to the class in the form of prizes. Participants must bring their own vehicles. Anything goes with classes for all-terrain vehicles, trucks and other full-size vehicles. All ages can compete. Separate classes are held for entrants 12 years old and younger. For details, go to KOIdragracing.com.

“Motorsports go over big in Madison County. We thought we’d try it,” said Les Walters, Senior Fair Board vice president.

Along those lines, the demolition derby is back and scheduled for July 12, but with a twist this year. Before the adults play smash-em-up, children are invited to participate in a power-wheel demolition derby. Anyone child can enter. The fee is $5, and participants must bring their own battery-operated kid cars.

“They let them beat and bang on each other for 30 minutes. At the  end, everybody gets a trophy,” Walters said.

For something completely different, the Senior Fair Board booked a company that brings exotic animals to the fair in the form of a petting zoo. Among the animals that could be featured are kangaroos, lemurs, porcupines and snakes. The zoo will set up north of the Junior Fair Horse Barn where the pig races and camel rides were. The petting zoo and periodic shows will be open Monday through Saturday of the fair.

“They will be bringing 40 to 50 different animals,” Walters said.

Returning to the fair after a four-year hiatus is an interactive attraction that teaches children about fire safety. The set-up includes a smoke house. Shows will take place several times over the course of fair week.

The 2014 fair entertainment schedule as it stands now is as follows:

Sunday, July 6: Harness racing during the day; drag racing at 7 p.m.

Monday, July 7: Smokin’ Ham Band, a local band, will perform in the evening.

Tuesday, July 8: Central Ohio Truck Pullers Association pull at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 9: National Tractor Pullers Association pull in the evening

Thursday, July 10: Rodeo featuring bull riding and barrel racing in the evening

Friday, July 11: National Tractor Pullers Association pull in the evening

Saturday, July 12: Demolition derby preceded by the children’s power-wheel derby.

“We’re hoping to add some more local bands to the schedule for other nights of the fair,” said Dusty Parker, Senior Fair Board president.

In the discussion phase is a parade in honor of the fair’s 125th anniversary. The fair board also plans to sell baskets commemorating the milestone. The round wicker baskets will come with fabric and plastic liners and a nameplate featuring the fair logo and date.

If all goes well, a new youth arena, office and community room will be built in time for this year’s fair. The Della Selsor Building is going through a major renovation, as well.

“I think people will be impressed with what we’re trying to accomplish at the fairgrounds,” Parker said.

For more information about the Madison County Fair, contact Dusty Parker at (740) 837-0424. In the coming months, visit madisoncountyfairoh.com for updates.

The next Senior Fair Board meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at the board office, 205 Elm St., London (at the fairgrounds). Meetings are open to the public.

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