(Posted Feb. 8, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
When it comes to evening entertainment at the 2022 fair, the Madison County Fair Board is taking a two-pronged approach.
“We want to diversify, so it’s not the same old fair for people,” said Paul Gross, board president. “We’re also trying to get more local people involved in the activities, not just as spectators but also as participants.”
With planning already in full swing for this year’s fair (July 9-16), Gross is excited to announce that diversification means monster trucks. Monster Truck Racing League, an outfit out of Virginia, is bringing a high-end, professional monster truck show to the fairgrounds on Sunday, July 10. Crowds can expect over-the-top vehicles, flashy jumps and stunts, a chance to see the trucks up close and meet the drivers, and an opportunity to purchase a ride in a truck.
“This is going to be a really big draw,” Gross said. “Plus, we’re going to have local sponsorship opportunities where people can have one of the trucks on display at their business before the show.”
As for rustling up more local participation in evening activities, Gross said the fair board will run the dirt drag races itself this year, rather than hire an outside company as it has in past years. He said there are pros and cons to going without a company connected to a circuit, but his hope is to foster more of a hometown feel for the event this year, drawing local folks to compete.
The same goes for another new attraction, the Tug-a-Truck, which will take place on Tuesday, July 12, the same night as the dirt drags. Entrants will be paired up according to class. With chains connecting them, two trucks at a time will engage in what amounts to a tug-o-war battle. Entry fees will be paid out as prizes. The fair board plans to run this attraction itself, too. Crews have already installed a special track at the fairgrounds for the event.
Music is on the fair entertainment schedule, as well. On Monday, July 11, Nashville-based musician Paulina Jayne and her band will perform. Calling her music “urban country,” Jayne blends country, rock, pop, and soul to create songs like “Drove By” and “Love’s Gonna Always Win.” She has opened for country greats Sheryl Crow, Rascal Flatts, Sam Hunt, Chris Lane, and Old Dominion. On the Live Nation festival circuit, she has shared stages with Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, and Luke Bryan.
“I saw Paulina and her band at the Marysville All Ohio Balloon Festival. They did a great job,” Gross said.
On Wednesday, July 13, the stage will belong to Dan Wallace, a musician who hails from Marysville and performs outlaw country. Wallace draws on the songwriting traditions of country masters to create original music infused with the roots of southern rock, blues, and Americana. He recently recorded his first album, “Redemption,” in Nashville, and can be seen performing locally at The Grainery in Plain City, Double Barrel Kitchen & Bar in Westerville, and several spots in Marysville.
And for those who like tradition, the rest of the fair’s evening entertainment schedule features tried and true, long-running favorites. The Broken Horn rodeo, FastTraxx motocross, Central Ohio Truck Pull Circuit, and Smash-It demolition derby are all back for another year.
Between the new and old, the fair board has evening entertainment planned for every night of the fair:
July 10–Monster trucks
July 11–Paulina Jayne
July 12–Dirt drags and tug-a-truck
July 13–Dan Wallace
July 15–Truck pulls
For more information about the Madison County Fair, the fair board, and other fairgrounds events, visit https://madisoncountyfairoh.com.