CELINA — The 164th Mercer County Fair begins Friday and continues through Aug. 18 at the fairgrounds located at 1001 W. Market St.
The Mercer County Fair is fairly well-attended, and has been increasing in gate admissions steadily according to Cara Muhlenkamp, Mercer County fair manager. Muhlenkamp credits that increase with the entertainment.
“We just recently started having country entertainment come in. This year Gary Allan and Ray Scott will be here at 8 p.m.” Friday, she said.
Track and box seats are $40 for this show. Grandstand/handicap seating is $30. Tickets can be purchased online at http://mercercountyohiofair.com or call the box office at 419-586-3239. Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards accepted.
It’s not just the entertainment though that brings the crowds to the Mercer County Fair.
“We definitely do a good job at being the No. 1 agriculture community in the state of Ohio. We have a lot of things to showcase during the week of the fair,” Muhlenkamp said. “We have over 2,000 students involved in our 4H and we also have another 2,000 in our FFA kids that participate.”
The fair board does a good job of listening to requests from the residents as well, she said.
“This year we are bringing back the rodeo. We are having it again this year on Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. at the grandstand. We have not had it for a few years and we had a lot of requests to bring it back,” Muhlenkamp said.
Saturday is motor sports all day. At 1 p.m. Michindoh Truck and Tractor Pulls, 6 p.m. Tough Truck contest, and the evening finishes up at 7:30 p.m. with Tug-A-Truck.
The creative side of Mercer County residents came into play on a contest that the fair board put on.
“Something new this year is our Bucket of Junk contest. We had 10 buckets that were available to be picked up with the exact same items in each of the 10 buckets. Folks picked them up and made their own creation with them. These creations will be viewed in our commercial building. Cash prizes will be awarded,” Muhlenkamp said.
And, taking into consideration the fitness crowd, the Mercer County Fair has brought a Ninja Obstacle Fitness Challenge to the fairgrounds.
“New this year is the Ninja Obstacle Fitness Challenge. This starts Aug. 12 and runs through Aug. 17. Cash prizes will be awarded. We have two different categories, youth and adult. The winners are entered into the finals at the Hancock County Fair,” Muhlenkamp said. “There are challenges each day, and there are open practice times each day. There will also be grudge matches if people want to go against someone. We are pretty excited about this.”
Poor Jack Amusements will be providing the rides at the fair, as they have done in the past.
“It is exciting that our ride company, Poor Jack Amusements, are celebrating their 50th year in the business. So, we have a good solid ride company,” Muhlenkamp said.
Harness racing is a staple yearly in front of the grandstand. There are two different days of racing at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 14 and then 6 p.m. Aug. 15.
The Great Lake Timber Show is present through the weekend with eight different show times. This show has carvings, an ax throwing competition, log rolling competition and sawing competition.
Woodcarver, Jason Emmons from Bear Hollow Wood Carvers is at the fair. He carves Saturday through Aug. 15.
Aug. 17 “we auction his carvings off and then these proceeds go to two scholarships that we give out to the youth in the community,” Muhlenkamp said.
Daily admission at the gate is $6, and is charged for everyone age 5 and older. Children 4 years and younger are free, but those ages 4 and younger must purchase a ride wrist band at the ticket booth to ride mechanical rides. Daily ride wrist bands are $9.
For a complete listing of all fair events visit http://mercercountyohiofair.com.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.