Hartford Independent Fair on the horizon
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
The 154th Annual Hartford Independent Fair opens Sunday, August 5, and runs through Saturday, August 11. For the uninitiated, the Hartford Fair is one of seven independent fairs in Ohio. Billed as “The BIGGEST Little Fair in the World”, year after year the seven-day event draws record crowds. Last year, over 200,000 paying fair-goers came through the gates.
Each day from Sunday through the following Saturday offers a full schedule of fair activities. FFA and 4-H members will show projects and sell project animals; multiple venues will feature music, harness racing, fun contests for children, educational displays and other family-oriented activities.
Each evening the fairground grandstand offers free entertainment. Sunday, August 5, features the ever-popular school bus races and pickup truck races on a challenging figure-8 track. On Monday, August 6, David Nail and Michael Carroll will light up the grandstand with country music entertainment; and on Tuesday evening fans can see an OSTPA sanctioned truck and tractor pull.
Wednesday, August 8, is Demolition Derby night, Thursday features Moto-Cross racing, on Friday evening the popular Rough Truck Contest is held, and the 154th Hartford Fair’s grandstand entertainment closes with the Saturday, August 11, Championship Horse Pull.
Fair board secretary Larry Hughes, who also serves as fair manager, said a few new elements have been added to entertainment this year.
“We added the pickup truck race to the school bus races on the figure eight track, and the horse pull will include a pony pull this year to add a little more to the shows,” Hughes said. “We’re hoping these added features draws more people, and makes the events more fun and interesting.”
Hughes said the fairground has no new buildings this year, but the fair board, staff and volunteers have been making cosmetic and convenience upgrades to the grounds.
“As we get nearer to the fair every year there’s a lot of maintenance work,” Hughes said. “There’s a new donated windmill installed at the Natural Resource Area that’s used to aerate the pond, and a butterfly garden has been added to the resource area. We’ve also paved all five gates to make it easier for fair patrons to get through.”
Want to camp for the week during the Hartford Fair? Hughes said bring your checkbook and reserve a campsite for 2013.
“The campground is full like always, all the fairgrounds’ 383 permanent campsites are reserved already,” Hughes said. “We had 221 people in the campsite lottery for spots that were not reserved and all of those spots are now gone. We add a few campsites each year, and we still need more.”
Hughes said members of the Hartford Fair Board and fair staff are hoping the weather cooperates and the rain holds off from August 5 through 11. If it gets warm, he encourages fair goers to visit the air-conditioned 4-H Building where they can they can take a break, cool off, and enjoy 4-H and Boy Scout exhibits.
“We’d like to invite everybody to come out for the 154th Hartford Independent Fair,” Hughes said. “The gate has not been raised, it’s still $6, parking is free, and there will be rides, fair foods, arts and crafts, harness racing, and 4-H and FFA project exhibits – everything you need for a family-oriented day at the fair.”
For a complete schedule of events at the August 5 though August 11 Hartford Independent Fair go to the fair’s website at < hartfordfair.com > and click on Schedule.
The Hartford Fair is located at 14028 Fairgrounds Road, Croton.