Arcanum News: The Great Darke County Fair


Entitled the greatest county fair on earth, this Friday will be the opening of the 160th Great Darke County Fair. This year’s fair will run from August 18 to the 26. The fair was started in 1852 when Dr. I.N. Gard was named chief executive officer and ably led by such men as George Coover, Alfred Kitchen and Noah Arnold to realize the dream and plan for an agricultural fair for the following year. And so it came to pass that on a Wednesday and Thursday, September 7 and 8 of 1853, Darke County indeed had a fair of its own.

Greenville, as the county seat, was selected for geographic reasons and thus the initial fair was held on the grounds immediately east of Garst Museum. Three times since the fair’s 1853 inception the event was cancelled: 1862 and 1863 the fair was cancelled because the county was embroiled in pitting brother against brother in the Civil War; and again in 1949 due to the outbreak of polio in the county and surrounding area.

What’s your favorite exhibit, food, entertainment? Perhaps you have a 4-H’er, band member, or cheerleader you will be supporting or have entered exhibits in the Fine Arts or Domestic Arts, FFA, or one of the livestock barns; whatever your reason for attending the fair make it one of the best ever! Best of luck to all of the youth exhibitors at the fair, it will be a memory of a lifetime that you will tell your children and grandchildren about in years to come.

While you are there don’t forget to support your local vendors that work the fair. Perhaps you might visit the Arcanum A# Tent for a meal, have a lemonade shakeup from Martin’s Old Fashioned Lemonade, an elephant ear from Chuck’s Foods or Rismiller’s, how about a Farmer Brown and some Just Ice Cream; or maybe you are just be there to see some old friends, enjoy yourself and make some memories.

The Arcanum Public Library (APL) wrapped up its summer reading program with a party for patrons on August 5. At the party, there were balloon animals, building toys, and outdoor games. Kids could get their face painted, and enjoy ice cream and popsicles. Prizes for the top readers were displayed and handed out, along with other prizes patrons had earned during the eight-week program; a great time was had by all. The library would like to thank all who participated and helped make this a fun-filled, learning event for all. There were a record number of participants, and many incentives given throughout the summer. The library also wants to thank all of the local businesses and patrons who donated gifts, decorations, supplies, or money to help them put on a great program: Young’s Jersey Dairy, Troy Recreation Department, Vandalia Recreation Center, Papa John’s Pizza in Greenville, Marco’s Pizza in Greenville, Jumpy’s Fun Zone, Beechwood Golf Course, Dayton Dragons, The Scott Family McDonald’s, Lowes in Greenville, Lowes in Troy, Sherwin Williams Paints in Greenville, Kroger, Troutwine Insurance, Picnic’s Pizza, Cynthia Vogel, Kennedy Vineyard, Subway in Arcanum, Subway in Greenville, Hot Head Burritos in Greenville, Rural King, Brumbaugh’s Fruit ‘N Fun Farm, and anyone else who may have helped with their time, talent, and more!

On Tuesday, August 15, APL invites you to join them for a relaxing afternoon of adult coloring, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Unwind and de-stress as you color and chat. Refreshments will be served, and supplies are provided.

The next meeting of the book club will be held on Tuesday, August 15 at 6 p.m. The book “The Traitor’s Wife” will be discussed, and the next book will be selected. All are welcome to come join the club. The library would like to remind patrons that it will be closed the week of the Great Darke County Fair, from Monday, August 21- Saturday, August 26. Enjoy the fair, and all it has to offer! Check our webpage often for a list of upcoming events, as we set the dates for a “Gilligan’s Island” day, a genealogy workshop, and more. Check out their website or call them at 937-692-8484 with questions. You can also check out their website, or find them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

“The Great Darke County Fair is like a holiday. I look forward to it all year long to go back again and see old friends and savor the food delights! Even though, year after year, we do the same things, it never disappoints.” ~anonymous

By Vickie Rhodehamel

Arcanum News

Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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