Annual Dayton Fair to offer week of fun
DAYTON — Hundreds of animals. dozens of entertainers with many talents and about 29,000 spectators are expected to gather next week for the 134th edition of The Great Dayton Fair.
Organizers are putting the final touches on what they say will be a week of family entertainment that will include competitions, exhibits, amusement rides, demolition derbies, musical, magic and aerial acts, and much more. And, of course, sprinkled throughout all those diversions will be plenty of savory fair food.
The fair “officially” opens Monday, Aug. 11, but a number of attractions — including horse and pony pulling contests, vesper services featuring the barbershop quartet The Logical Choice and the crowning of a fair queen — are among the highlights of “pre-fair” events starting Saturday.
“4-H has always been a priority” for the Dayton Fair, said Larry Marshall, fair president. So the youth organization members are grooming their horses, cattle, goats, sheep and swine in hopes of winning the judges’ favor.
“We have one of the better 4-H sales in the state” on Thursday evening of fair week, Marshall said. And the fairground’s 4-H show arena has been remodeled. “It’s bigger and better with more seating.”
Also new at this year’s fair will be an antique tractor pull as a pre-fair event at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Marshall said some extra cash has been added to the prize money purse to attract more drivers for the mini-van and compact car demolition derby Monday evening. A second demo derby for larger vehicles is one of the highlights of the Friday (Aug. 15) lineup.
There will be two afternoons of harness racing starting at noon Wednesday and Thursday.
For those who like their entertainment noisy and smoky, Power Pulling Productions will take over the racetrack for the Limited Pro Series Tractors and 4x4 truck pulling contests at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Part of the racetrack in front of the grandstand will be flooded for a 4x4 mud bog Thursday evening.
Amusement rides will be operating Monday from 5 p.m. to close, about 11 p.m.; on Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and from 6:15 p.m. to close; and on the second Saturday from 1 to 5:30 p.m. and from 6:15 p.m. to close.
Headlining the attractions on the second Saturday will be the ACM-, CMA- and CMT-nominated duo Love and Theft. Singer/songwriters Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson arrived on the music scene with their debut single “Runaway” which landed in the top 10 on the Billboard Country Charts. They followed it with their No. 1 platinum hit, “Angel Eyes,” from their self-titled album. The album yielded “If You Ever Get Lonely,” “Running Out of Air” and the fan favorite “Amen.”
Love and Theft’s latest single, “Night That You’ll Never Forget,” is the first release from their new album due out later this year.
Fireworks will cap the final evening of the fair.
Marshall said an advantage of the fair’s $8 admission is that it covers all the displays and shows, grandstand attractions and amusement rides.
Children age 2 and under will be admitted free and military members, veterans and seniors will be admitted free Thursday until 4 p.m.
There will be no charge for parking.
More information on the fair, including the 170-page 2014 fair premium list book, is available at www.daytonfair.com.
PHOTO: 2013 Dayton Fair Queen candidates, from left, Sierra Shick, Katie Kasanicky and Lynsie Headley. Kasanicky was selected. (Gazette file photo)