Franklin County Fair organizers are hoping people will brave the heat for this year’s festivities, which begin Thursday in Union.
Fair Chairman Sarah Lackey said the Fair Board is gearing up for high temperatures in addition to big crowds.
“The heat is something that we can’t control, but we can adapt to it as much as possible,” Lackey said. “Mercy has donated the use of their misting fans and we will have large fans set up under the family pavilion and in the beer garden to keep the crowd cool.
“The first aid room is air-conditioned,” she added. “In the event that someone is getting overheated, they can be taken there to cool off.”
National Weather Service forecasts call for highs of 100 and 101 Thursday through Saturday and a high of 98 Sunday.
With Sunday predicted to be the coolest day, Lackey said it also may be the busiest.
“The demolition derby is expected to be our biggest attraction at the Fair this year,” she said. “The purse for the derby is one of the largest in our area which should attract top-notch competitors.”
The derby is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday.
“We made some rule changes this year to fall in line with other area demolition derby events which will allow more drivers to use the same vehicle for multiple events without major changes to the car,” Lackey said.
Sunday also will include a lawn mower derby beginning at 12:30 p.m. and a mini truck derby beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Bike races also will be held Sunday for children ages 5-11.
Lackey said organizers hope the new event, and the new truck class at the derby, will bring out the crowds.
“The lawn mower derby was new to our area last year and is growing in popularity,” she said. “We’re hoping after the exposure of last year’s Fair that more people are interested in the event and will make it even more competitive this year.”
The tractor pull Friday night also is a crowd favorite.
The pull will begin at 7 p.m.
“We are planning a moment of silence at 7 in honor of late Fair Board member Leonard Brautigam,” Lackey said.
Brautigam served as chairman of the tractor pull.
“We also are hoping to have a 21-tractor salute,” she said.
The Fair Board plans to install a permanent memorial at a later date. Plans for that are still in the works.
Other big events will include the pig scramble Thursday at 7 p.m., the super farmer contest beginning Saturday at 4 p.m. and the Eagles tribute band Hotel California performing Saturday night beginning at 8:30.
“This year we have opened the super farmer contest to all competitors ages 5 and up,” Lackey said. “Last year, we only had events for kids up to age 18, so this year we’re hoping to attract people of all ages. Events will vary by age category.”
Events include things like milking a cow, milking a goat, a backseat driver course, a tractor tire race and more.