Preparations are under way as Franklin County Fair organizers gear up for next week’s event.

The Fair will run July 5-8 and Fair board members are preparing the grounds now to get ready for the annual event, said Chairman Sarah Lackey.

“We’re on schedule, we have repainted all of the bleachers, repainted some of our fencing panels as well as made some improvements to the main fair building this spring,” she said. “At this time we are nearing the final stages of preparation.

She added, “that includes installing fencing throughout the grounds, putting up tents and preparing the tractor pull track and pig scramble area.”

There are some new events that Lackey expects to bring out crowds.

“We have added a mini-truck class to the demolition derby and bike races in which kids will be allowed to bring in their own bike,” she said.

Both events will be Sunday, July 8. Children ages 5-11 can take part in the bike race around the obstacle course and there will be prizes for the top finishers in each class.

Lackey noted that other events also draw people in.

“We are again anticipating a large crowd for the pig scramble on Thursday evening, there will also be fireworks sponsored by the Union Jaycees on Thursday night,” she said.

“The Super Farmer contest is back this year with some new events, this is a contest that is becoming increasingly popular among the teens in our area,” Lackey added.

According to Lackey, the tractor pull on Friday night always brings a very large crowd, and there will be a new start time this year with the field tractors beginning at 5 p.m.

“The tractor pull will be a little bittersweet with the passing this year of long time fair board member and chairman of the tractor pull, Leonard Brautigam,” said Lackey. “Mr. Brautigam’s expertise will be greatly missed, but as a board we are confident we can carry on his legacy.”

On Sunday, the demolition derby will bring out a large crowd with a full day of events beginning with the lawn mower derby, followed by the mini truck derby and concluding with the demolition derby, Lackey said.

Our main stage entertainment Saturday night will be the Eagles cover band Hotel California.

“They will perform a tribute concert to the Eagles as well as perform songs from the solo careers of the individual members of the Eagles,” Lackey said. “The band sounds great and will put on a fantastic show.”

Lackey credits the Fair Board for its hard work getting ready for the 2012 event.

“The members of the board have worked especially hard this year. We started preparing much earlier in the year than in the past and have taken on some large tasks to improve the fair for our community,” she said. “It is remarkable every year the ability of this group to pull together and get everything accomplished for a successful fair.”