Hartford Independent Fair opens Sunday
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
The 154th Annual Hartford Independent Fair opens this 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, racing, contests for children, educational displays and other family-oriented activities.
Each evening the fairground grandstand offers free entertainment. This year, Grammy nominated country singer songwriter David Nail and country artist Jason Michael Carroll will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 6, in the Grandstand.
David Nail was born and raised in Kennett, Missouri, where his father was a high school band director. In 2002 Nail debuted the single “Memphis” for Mercury Records Nashville. Five years later, he signed with MCA Nashville and in August 2009 released the album “I’m About to Come Alive”. It produced three singles: the title track, Red Light and Turning Home. The latter two singles reached Top 20. Nail’s second studio album, “The Sound of a Million Dreams”, was released in November 2011 and produced the number one hit Let it Rain.
Jason Michael Carroll was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in North Carolina. After being discovered at a local talent competition in 2004, Carroll was signed to Arista Nashville. He released his debut album “Waitin’ in the Country” in 2006. That album produced three consecutive Top 40 hits — “Alyssa Lies”, Livin’ Our Love Song and I Can Sleep When I’m Dead. Carroll’s second album, “Growing Up Is Getting Old”, produced two additional Top 40 hits, Where I’m From and Hurry Home. His latest album, “Numbers”, is featured exclusively through The Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores.
All grandstand seats are free of charge. For paid seats on the racetrack in front of the stage go to < hartfordfair.com >, click Entertainment, and at the bottom of the page click to buy tickets.
Real Hartford Fair aficionados will be at the fairgrounds at 7 p.m., Saturday, August 4, for the 2012 Hartford Fair King & Queen Contest. There will be no charge to enter the fairgrounds on Saturday evening, and some food vendors will already be open for business.
Sunday, August 5, features the ever-popular school bus races and pickup truck races on a challenging figure-8 track; 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 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.”
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 the 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, 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. General Gate Admission (Does not include rides) is $6 from Sunday, August 5, through Saturday, August 11 (children 7 and under free). On Monday, August 6, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Senior Citizens can enter for $3. Admission is free on Saturday, August 4, for the 7 p.m. Hartford Fair King & Queen Contest in the Pavilion. Parking is free (a week-long preferred parking pass is available for $20) and all grandstand events are free on a first come, first serve basis.
The Hartford Fair Office is near the fairground south entrance. Office Hours during Fair Week only are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For additional information call (740) 893‑4881; Fax: (740) 893‑4810; or email < email@example.com >.