GREENVILLE — They don’t call it the “Great” Darke County Fair for nothing. With something on the schedule for everyone, fair attendees are sure to have a “great” time.
There’s food, games, rides, animals, shows, food, music, arts, crafts, races, food, crashes, feats of strength, feats of skill, exhibitions of honor, exhibitions of beauty — and, did I mention? — food.
The fair is chock-full of both food to eat and food to envy. Food vendors will feature cotton candy and caramel apples, popcorn and corn dogs, sausages, fries, pizza, deep-fried candy bars, snow cones, pretzels, walking tacos, sugar waffles, ice cream, elephant ears, hot dogs, hamburgers, cheese curds, and the list goes on. Those looking for something healthier will find some of the county’s most beautiful fruits and vegetables, but most of those will only be on display, vying for ribbons and inspiring gardeners to step up their game.
The midway will feature games of luck and games of skill, so fairgoers who can throw a ball, dart or ring might walk away with a prize, and those who can’t might at least pick a lucky duck.
There will be buildings and pens full of livestock and domestic animals of every shape and size, from guinea pigs and rabbits, to dogs and cats, to goats and sheep, to horses and llamas, to swine and cattle — but feathers and beaks are barred from the grounds this year, so poultry exhibitors will be especially creative in their presentations this year.
Animals of a more exotic nature will be in attendance as well, with a diverse group of performing big cats including tigers and even a liger with Wambold’s Amazing Animals. That show also will feature daring and comical dogs, and performing miniature horses, and fairgoers can visit with camels and llamas there, too.
Fairgoers will be joined along the midway by Hot Shot Z Clown and his balloon creations, as well as Granpa Cratchet and his puppets.
Music at the gazebo will cover country, gospel, rock, pop, bluegrass and oldies. Young country superstar Hunter Hayes will take to the grandstand stage on Sunday, Aug. 23, and a spectacular of high school bands will fill the grandstand the following night.
Veterans will be honored with a parade and services in the grandstand on Wednesday, with veterans being admitted free to the fair that day, and the county’s most dedicated farm families will be honored at a Century Farm program Friday, Aug. 28.
Those in search of a cuteness overload will find it in the youth building on Monday, with the Little Miss and Little Mr. Darke County pageants. The kiddie tractor pull, set for Friday, Aug. 28, in the swine barn, also fills that bill.
If more power is what you’re after, the horse pulling contest will feature in the south horse show arena on Thursday. Even more power? There’s the truck and tractor pull Tuesday and Wednesday in the grandstand. Want some smashing and crashing, too? The demolition derby will be Saturday, Aug. 29.
If speed is more your speed, the Great Darke County Fair features some of the most elite harness racing to be found anywhere.
Fair participants will have the opportunity to show off skills ranging from cooking and sewing, to woodworking and painting, to crowing like a rooster and gobbling like a turkey. Gobbling?
But wait, there’s more — horseshoe pitching, cornhole, sheep shearing, square dancing, and more. There’s always more at the Great Darke County Fair.
Reach the writer at 937-569-4354 or on Twitter @RachelLloydGDA.