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FAIR DAYS: Clark County Fair begins Saturday

With nearly 8,000 in attendance the first Clark County Fair was Oct. 14-16, 1948, at the Winchester Tobacco Warehouse Cooperative on Winn Avenue. Admission was 35 cents for adults and 15 cents for children and included entertainment, livestock shows, agriculture displays, a merry-go-round and a Ferris wheel.

For nearly 70 years, Clark Countians have gathered to enjoy the fair annually.

“After more 60 years of success, attendance is at an all-time high of more than 40,000 fairgoers annually,” according to the fair website.

This year is expected to be no different, as the Clark County Fair kicks off Saturday with a hefty list of events.

The week-long fair festivities begin with the Central Kentucky Youth District Beef Show at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Also on the schedule for Saturday are the Antique Tractor Pull at 2 p.m., which is an event returning after several years. The horse show and open beef show each begin at 5 p.m.

The antique tractor show ushers in Sunday’s fair schedule, which also includes the popular pedal pull and Farm Bureau Old Fashioned Fair Games.

Admission is $5 Saturday and Sunday and doesn’t include carnival rides.

Monday, entries for the 4-H, FFA and home economics competition will be received from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and hay show entries will be received from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Carnival rides begin Tuesday and continue through Saturday, along with the open goat show at 6 p.m., backseat driver contest at 7 p.m. and KTT Tug of War at 7 p.m.

The Clark County Fair Board will recognize the Fair Person of the Year and Ag Hall of Fame inductees at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Clark County Fair President Melissa Clark said the fair board also brought back the poultry show this year.

“It’s been several years since we have had the poultry show,” she said. “We are adding that back for Wednesday. We have noticed a lot more people showing interest in poultry, especially chicken.”

Fair-goers can also compete in a corn hole tournament and watch the garden tractor pull Wednesday, and Thursday’s fun includes the ATV/truck drag, open swine show and Bullwhip Rodeo.

“The Bullwhip Rodeo is also a returning event,” Clark Said. “We try to switch things up where we can. We don’t want things to become redundant, so we hold things some years and then bring them back to build the excitement back up.”

Clark said the rodeo will include everything from tie-down and breakaway roping to barrels, team roping and bull riding.

“There will be some kids events like mutton busting and the calf scramble, too,” she said.

Friday and Saturday boast some of the fair’s more popular events, Clark said.

Friday’s popular entertainment will be the annual mud run, and the fair culminates Saturday, June 23, with the demolition derby.

“The demolition derby is always very well-attended,” she said.

Clark said past years’ fairs have seen some disruption because of weather, but she anticipates mostly clear weather.

“You never know,” she said. “Things can be unpredictable. We had beautiful weather last year and are hoping for the same this year so everyone can come out and the enjoy the fair.

Admission is $10 Tuesday through Saturday, which includes all rides, entertainment and other fair events.

The Clark County Fairgrounds are located on Ironworks Road (Highway 15), about 4.5 miles east of Winchester.

Clark said she has been involved with the fair for more than 20 years, starting as an FFA participant.

“They sort of roped me in and I got involved with the board,” she said. “Now I’ve been president for about seven years.”

Clark said while the carnival rides and pageants often draw big crowds, the fair is about much more.

“I think it’s really about the community getting out, see their friend and family,” she said. “Going to the fair is really a yearly tradition. Some want to come get their ribeye sandwich, a funnel cake or corn dog. Others look forward to the rides. Regardless, it’s really the one time a year you can experience most of these things.”

A complete list of times, events and rules for this year’s fair can be found at clarkcountyfair.org.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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