In 1857, at the end of a hardworking summer on the farm, residents of the Fulton County area attended the very first Fulton County Fair.
Over seven generations later, people throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan continue to mark the end of summer in the same way– by attending what has since grown to be one of Ohio’s premier agricultural events.
The 155th edition of the Fulton County Fair runs Friday, Aug. 31, through Thursday, Sept. 6, at the “Top of Ohio” Fairgrounds, just north of Wauseon on Rt. 108 at Turnpike Exit 3.
New this year is the Saturday night Pickup Truck Pulls, orchestrated by the Maumee Valley Pullers, the same group that pulls together Friday’s Miller Tire Tri-State NTPA-sanctioned tractor and truck pulls.
The Michigan Miniature Horse Pull, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 2, is also a new addition.
Barney Fife from Mayberry (a spot-on impersonator) will roam the grounds Saturday through Tuesday, passing out tickets, posing for photos, and engaging in the antics that made him Mayberry’s favorite deputy.
Fairgoers can also enjoy traditional fair entertainment, including harness racing on Saturday and Tuesday (with pari-mutuel wagering on Tuesday).
The Van-Dells return for their 50s and 60s concert on the south stage, and the Lost Nations Rodeo once again charges onto the grandstand track on Wednesday night.
It will all be wrapped up by Ohio’s Greatest Demoli- tion Derby on Thursday night.
In keeping with the fair’s farmland heritage, over 650 exhibitors are set to bring in the fruits of their summer labors to be judged and displayed, whether those “fruits” are alpacas, beans, beef cattle, chickens, dairy feeders, dresses, eggplants, flower boxes, goats, heirlooms, industrial displays, jams and jellies, knitted hats, rabbits, or zucchinis.
And to further delight farm aficionados, this year’s large agricultural display in the southwest corner of the fairground focuses on the history of threshing.
As always, the fair features midway rides and free entertainment, plus elephant ears, milkshakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and other delicious once-ayear taste treats known simply as “fair food.”
The fair will continue its tradition of offering free admission to special groups of fairgoers on specified days: to veterans and their spouses on Saturday, Sept. 1, till 6 p.m.; to schoolchildren, on Junior Fair Day, Tuesday, Sept. 4 (along with special ride prices from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.); and to senior citizens ages 65 and up on Wednesday, Sept. 5, till 6 p.m.
Free admission does not include ticketed shows.