There will be an opening ceremony to officially kick off this year’s Franklin County Fair, and that’s just one of the changes to this 2014 event.
The Fair runs July 10-13 in Union. A parade will be held Sunday, July 6, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The grand marshal will be Ralph Oltmann, who is the earliest living Franklin County Fair chairman.
The opening ceremony will be Thursday, July 10, and will feature a ribbon cutting by past Fair chairmen and will be held on the main stage.
“We want to highlight our past and show where the Fair came from,” said this year’s Chairman Eric Schmuke.
“We have not had an opening ceremony since at least the ’90s,” he added.
Schmuke explained that the Fair had owned a stage up until then, but now rents it. This year the main stage will be rented for three nights, instead of just one, so there will be other events held on the stage.
Shortly after the opening ceremony will be the Fair Queen Contest, also on the main stage. The contest had been on the main stage in previous years, but was most recently in the family pavilion.
“We are trying to bring back some of the things that worked in the past,” Schmuke explained. “This will highlight the queen contest and draw more attention to it more this year.”
Also on Thursday is the pig scramble, which will be moved away from the main stage to the west. It will be on the baseball field closest to Clark-Vitt Elementary.
“It will keep mud away from the main stage area, and with the new fencing the city has put up it will make it easier to set up.”
People may visit the Fair’s website to register for the pig scramble.
The local band Crazy Aunt Linda will perform on the main stage Friday night.
“That will give the band better exposure during the Fair and create more of an open air street dance,” Schmuke said.
Craig Morgan is slated to perform Saturday, July 12, at the Fair’s main stage. The opening act is Rickie Lee Tanner at 7:30 p.m.
New this year will be the “Lil Monster Truck Show” for children ages 6-17 who will drive scaled down monster trucks, where they can jump cars and race.
There will be a pit party at 5:30 p.m. and fairgoers are invited into the pits to get pictures with the trucks.
New events Saturday in the family pavilion include a “beauty shop” hosted by a local salon, a comedian/juggler and a 1950s-themed event with Dr. Seuss, modeling clay and Hula-Hoops.
On Sunday night of the Fair, the Union FFA alumni will host the field class tractor pull.