Major changes are expected to this year’s Franklin County Fair — most notable the schedule.
This year’s four-day Fair is set to start Thursday, June 7. Historically, the county fair had been held in July.
The event will run through June 10 at the Fairgrounds in Union. Tickets are still on sale.
Organizers were forced to alter the dates because of a scheduling issue with the sled for the truck and tractor pull. The Fair Board had called an audible and moved the Fair up a month in order to have the pull events.
The switch may have some benefits. Chief among them is the potential for better weather.
Fair Board member Eric Schmuke said organizers are hopeful Fairgoers won’t have to battle triple-digit temperatures. He said early forecasts show the temperatures potentially dropping into the high 60s in the evenings.
The date change also should help with Friday night’s demolition derby, Schmuke said. By moving up a month, the derby is scheduled to be the first one in the area and organizers are expecting a big field.
The demolition derby will be Friday starting at 7 p.m.
The schedule alteration may not be the biggest change for the Fair. Schmuke said the board is excited about working with a new ride company.
For years the Fair has used the same company to provide the rides. Schmuke said the board has heard several complaints about having the same rides year after year.
So the 2018 Fair Board hired Fun Time Shows, which will be providing all new rides.
Another change this year will be the entertainment. Schmuke said instead of a main stage headliner, the Fair Board opted for more concerts in the entertainment tent. The shows will be Steve Leslie Band, Friday at 8 p.m.; Nathan Gerling, Saturday at 4 p.m.; Shotgun Creek Band, Saturday at 8 p.m.; and KG Lillian, Sunday at 6 p.m.
Thursday — The Fair gates will open at 5 p.m. Rides will start at 5:30 p.m.
The official opening will be at 6 p.m. with the annual parade. The parade will start at city hall, head west on Locust Street, north on Church Street, west on Main Street, right on Christina Avenue and left on Park Street before ending at the city pool.
Following the parade will be the Franklin County Fair Queen Contest at 7 p.m.
The annual pig scramble will start at 8:30 p.m. Registration opens at 6 p.m. for all children between the ages of 6 and 14.
The Fair will close for the day at 11 p.m.
Friday — The second day of the Fair will have the main gates open at 7 a.m. It will close at midnight.
Rides will start at 5:30 p.m.
The day will feature the demolition derby at 7 p.m. A power wheel demo derby is set for 8 p.m.
The pedal tractor pull registration for kids between the ages of 4 and 10 will start at 6 p.m. The event will begin at 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 9 — The gates will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight. Rides will be open from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and from 6 to 11:30 p.m.
The Little Mister and Miss Contest will take place at 4 p.m. The semi truck pull will be at 6 p.m. The L. Brautigam Tractor Pull will start at 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 10 — Gates will open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. Rides will run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
An antique tractor pull is set for 1 p.m. The field class tractor pull will be at 3:30 p.m.
The baby contest will start at 4 p.m.
For more information or updates on the Fair, visitors are encouraged to visit Facebook. Schmuke said all updates will be posted on the group’s Facebook page.
The Facebook page is www.facebook.com/franklincofair.
Tickets can be purchased at the gates or at the United Bank of Union locations, the Union Parks Department, Union Chamber of Commerce, Bank of Sullivan on Oak Street, Purschke Oil and Tire Company, Fricks Market, Bank of Franklin County in Krakow, Voss Market in Beaufort and Dollar Plus of St. Clair.
Tickets will be sold until 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 6. Fricks will have tickets on sale until 10 a.m. Thursday, June 7.