New events, old traditions in place for the County Fair

TThe 89th Annual Marion County Fair will be featuring some new events in addition to the traditions that many have come to know and love.

“We are trying to listen. We are trying to evolve,” said Cindy Gladdis, fair treasurer.

For those who love the big truck events, there are two new features to love. There will be a Truck Tug of War and a Truck Obstacle Course.

According to the fair website, the Truck Tug of War consists of pulling truck against truck on a 15 feet wide by 120 feet long dirt track. All trucks are weighted in to weight classes. The trucks are opposing each other on the dirt track with a 30 feet strap hooked to the rear of each truck with the center of the strap centered on the track.

The winner is the competitor who pulls the other 15 feet across the line or the farthest in 30 seconds. The best of three is the winner. The winner stays in the winner’s bracket and the loser goes to the loser’s bracket. Each truck and driver should have at least two pulls.

The Truck Obstacle Course is open to any four, six or eight cylinder car, truck, van or SUV and includes both two wheel or four wheel drive. The rules state that any vehicle that enters the competition must pass a basic safety inspection by Marion County Fair Officials. And the vehicle must be in good mechanical condition and must have good working brakes.

There will also be an ATV Rodeo this year. Rules for the event as well as for the Truck Tug of War and Truck Obstacle Course can be found on the fair website. All three events will be held on Sunday, July 28.

Some other new features include new jackpot classes and bigger sleds at the Truck and Tractor Pull.

The committee is also trying to include more events that are easy and cost effective.

“We are trying to make it more family oriented,” said Jennifer Moss, fair secretary.

“We’ve got a hot dog eating contest and a watermelon eating contest this year on Wednesday after the parade,” said Unruh. “It should be really fun to watch.”

There is a big concert on Friday night featuring Jaron Bell with Westin Price, that is free to the public. It is located in the Commercial building on the fair grounds.

There will be a bunch of food trucks to choose from on Friday night as well which could become a fun new tradition.

“That’s why people come to the fair. It’s the food,” said Unruh.

Another new and exciting event this year will be something called the Featured Guest. Schools across the county were asked to nominate students who have gone above and beyond.

“This is something we are trying to grow to be bigger eventually,” said Unruh.

“Teachers nominated some. Principals nominated others. We chose one person out of the entire group of names that we were given. Next year we hope to choose one person from each school district. All of the nominations will receive free tickets to the Demolition Derby, and the kid who won will be acknowledged in the arena to receive their award in a ceremony,” said Moss. “That way everyone can know what they were nominated for and why they are being recognized.We just want people and our kids to open their eyes to something bigger.”

The committee hopes to continue the tradition for years to come.

There will still be a bounce house this year for kids of all ages to enjoy, but it will be on Friday, July 26 rather than on Saturday.

It should be a great time at the fair this year.

To find out more information and times, check out the rest of this guide, the fair website at www. marioncountyfairks.org or look at their Facebook page.