Fair to start with a ‘bang’

No easing into this year’s Auglaize County Fair schedule, the Auglaize County Agricultural Society, or Fair Board, secretary says, the entertainment and livestock shows should start “with a bang” on Sunday and should continue with an exciting schedule the entire week “without easing up.”

Fred Piehl, who serves as fair board secretary and Auglaize County Fairgrounds manager, said they have scheduled a full slate of entertainment and activities in the Entertainment Tent and in front of the grandstand — starting Sunday, July 28, and continuing through to the conclusion of the fair on Saturday, Aug. 3.

“We have tried to kick it off with a bang and we want that enthusiasm from fair-goers at the onset and to never let up,” Piehl said after Monday’s fair board meeting at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds. “I was always taught you want to start the fair with a bang so the excitement will flow through the entire week.

“If you can get people to come out to the fair early and they can see what it is all about then they will come back the rest of the week,” he said. “That is what we are trying to do here.”

To kick off the fair, the Entertainment Tent has a Maverick Radio 103.3 singing contest in the afternoon followed by Shelby County Line and Flight Risk in the evening, while the grandstand ushers in the fair with free style bikes and tug-a-truck. Free style bikes have riders performing stunts and jumps.

Wrestling and Nashville Crush are on the Entertainment Tent’s slate to conclude the fair on Aug. 3, with bull riding and the national tractor pull in front of the grandstand.

“Bull riding typically brings in a large crowd and we wanted that in the grandstand in the afternoon because on Saturday evening we have those large tractors and equipment worth millions of dollars out there and I believe if people see all that out there Saturday afternoon they will come back or get on their phones and tell their friends about it,” Piehl said. “People have no idea what we bring in here for Saturday night. Those tractors, the equipment and those trailers have workshops inside them with six or 12 engines hanging on the wall.”

Piehl said the appeal of the fair does not end with the entertainment. While there are many reasons to attend, the most important and often most overlooked reason is the livestock shows.

“We are really trying to get people to see what we have to offer and that includes the livestock — we have one of the best livestock shows in the state because of the quality of the animals shown here,” Piehl said. “The Fair Board and the Junior Fair Board put a lot of effort into it, but we don’t always express that or promote the livestock shows enough — we take it for granted. From the rabbits to the goats, from the horses to the steers and heifers, our livestock show is top notch.”