Full schedule highlights Tuscarawas County Fair

Full schedule highlights Tuscarawas County Fair

Image Credit: Teri Stein

The Black Cat Hell Drivers Show will take place at the Tuscarawas County Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. This show will include multi-car precision stunt driving, two-wheel stunt driving, several Hollywood style car crashes, high-speed reverse spins, motorcycle stunts, fire stunts, a thrill show clown, a 1937 Dodge sedan jumping ramp to ramp and more.

The family-friendly show mixes danger and comedy. Grandstand tickets to the 70-minute show are $12. Tickets to the show are on sale now.

The 2022 fair will run Sept. 19-25.

Grandstand events scheduled include the following:

On Monday at 7:30 p.m., Rafter M Rodeo will feature a variety of rodeo events including bareback, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, calf roping, girls barrel racing, girls breakaway roping and team roping. Grandstand seats are $12.

On Tuesday at 6 p.m., Band-O-Rama will feature area high school marching bands performing their best halftime selections. Grandstand seats are free.

On Wednesday the Black Cat Hell Drivers Show will take place.

On Thursday at 7 p.m., Ohio Mod Rod Pullers will feature a variety of modified garden tractors in a tractor pull competition. Grandstand seating is free.

On Friday at 7 p.m., NSTPA truck and tractor pulls will take place. Grandstand seating is $12.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., OSTPA truck and tractor pulls will take place. Grandstand seating is $12.

On Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Demolition Derby and the kids power wheels will take place. Grandstand seating is $7.

Harness racing will be held Friday and Saturday at noon and Sunday at 1 p.m. Grandstand seating is free.

“It’s really become a big thing here again in the last couple of years. It’s just really growing,” said Reb Billman, fair board president.

Grandstand tickets are on sale through Kent State University at Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center or go to www.tusccountyfairgrounds.com.

Fair planning challenges

The board members of the Tuscarawas County Agricultural Society make it look easy, but there is an extraordinary amount of effort that goes into planning the fair each year.

“The biggest thing that we’re faced with is continuing to try to improve, not only the fair each year, but the fairgrounds and continuing to try to hold the prices,” Doug Wills said. “We’re getting completely out of the entertainment business. We’re trying to do our best at providing a good entertainment value. We’re excited about bringing back the stunt show this year. It’s been several years since we’ve had that. The whole group looked very hard to find that stunt show.”

Senior fair board members said gate prices are staying the same this year.

“I think we are one of very few fairs in the state of Ohio that did not raise our prices this year. Our gate price remains the same. Our grandstand seating remains the same, and grandstand seats vary according to what the show is,” Billman said.

Parking at $5 also remained the same.

Other attractions may see increases.

“We have no control over the cost of the rides or the food or the games or anything else. Those are all privately owned,” Billman said.

Fair livestock and dairy sales available live and online

The Tuscarawas County Fair Sales will be held in a hybrid format. The auctions will take place simultaneously live and online. For online bidding and sign-up, visit www.kaufman-auctions.com.

“The online option turned out to be a great success,” Wills said.

Having the in-person and online option has increased the number of buyers.

“We actually sold livestock in other states,” Billman said. “(Former area residents) bought a hog, and they live in Florida. They just donated it to the food bank up here, but they were able to support a kid.”

Businesses that support the livestock auctions like the online option because they don’t have to leave work to make a purchase. The online option makes it possible to prebid on an animal shown by a 4-H member they would like to support. Bids can be placed up to the amount you select. Prebids must be set up in the system ahead of time.

Though the fair has recently seen record sales each year, the money goes to the 4-H members who raise the animal or are involved in dairy production, and a small portion of each sale goes to the committees. None of the money earned goes to the fair board. The committees — market livestock, small animal and dairy — use the money for education like field trips or purchasing needed items like pens or bleachers.

All sales are held in the main show arena. The swine livestock sale will begin at noon on Thursday, followed at 4 p.m. by lambs, market beef and dairy steers. The dairy products sale will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday with the small animal sale at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

4-H participation enriches members’ lives

Fair King Cameron Brandt, Queen Riley Randolph and two 4-H members — sisters Allie and Addy Kendle — spoke about their success through 4-H and the Tuscarawas County Fair.

For Addy Kendle, raising sheep is her favorite project. She began showing at the county level, moved up to the state level and now is showing sheep on the national level in Louisville, Kentucky.

“It’s just cool because I have friends from all over the state,” Addy Kendle said.

Allie Kendle spoke about her self-determined project. The self-determined project allows members to learn about topics they are interested in.

“They have some outlined projects already, like quilting, or you can like completely come up with your own and it could just be in a generic topic like creative arts. But for my project, I had to go through and pick research topics and then research about my project. I researched about types of fabric and long arming and the different patterns that I could do with my quilt,” Allie Kendle said.

She then did a summary of her entire project, highlighting what she had learned.

Brandt and Randolph spoke about their experiences over the past year.

“(As of mid-August), I have gone to 17 county fairs. I can’t tell what’s my favorite. They’re all amazing. Carroll County is very close to my heart, but Tusc is always on top,” Brandt said. “I’ve really just tried to get out there and speak with the people at different kinds of fairs. And I kind of kept a database on different things that they do that I think would be really interesting here. I’ve seen a couple of different things with livestock. They’ve done different types of shows that we aren’t really able to do but would be really good ideas in the future if we were to have those facilities.”

He also attended Citizenship Washington Focus.

“We went to D.C. and met with lawmakers. We addressed our concerns within the agriculture community,” Brandt said. “Many of (the lawmakers) actually responded back within a few weeks. We got to go to several seminars because they do two separate conferences and talked about our issues between our different regions of our state. And we got to make a lot of new friends.”

For Randolph, it’s the experiences that count most.

“I have probably visited more parades than county fairs. I would like to visit more county fairs. I just don’t have quite the time,” Randolph said. “I would say my greatest achievement as fair queen is attending the Ohio Fairs Managers Association conference. Going there, I was able to compete with 77 other queens from across the state of Ohio. I went through an entire interview process to pageantry, walking on stage and then presenting that evening. It was really intense.”

Randolph hopes to visit more county fairs prior to the start of the 2022 Tuscarawas County Fair, and she’s looking to the future.

“I’m really excited to see who becomes the next fair queen and takes my place,” she said.