Fulton County Fair opens Friday 8.27

Written by David Green.

From Friday, August 29, through Thursday, September 4, the 151st Fulton County Fair is once again serving up its super-sized combo of world-class entertainment, family-friendly prices and a something-for-everyone philosophy that last year swelled the county’s population of roughly 43,000 to more than 281,000 during Fair Week.     

The Beach Boys—the most popular American pop group in history—bring their musical salutes to surfing, hotrods and teenage angst to the Fulton County Grandstand stage on Sunday, August 31.  During a near-half-century career, the Beach Boys have had dozens of hits, among them "Surfin' Safari," "Surfin' USA," "California Girls," "I Get Around," "God Only Knows," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "In My Room" and "Kokomo." 

Following the Beach Boys’ Sunday night concert, the Fair Board is sponsoring a free fireworks show in the Grandstand, back from last year by popular demand.

The Fair's Annual Labor Day Concert on Monday, September 1, features country music star Joe Nichols with Jake Owen. 

Nichols, who shot to fame with his first hit, “Brokenheartsville,” was named Top New Male Vocalist at the 2003 ACM Awards.  In that same year, he received the CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year and the CMA Horizon Award.  He has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, three of them for his hit, "The Impossible." 

Nichol’s other hits include "I'll Wait for You" and his most recent, "It Ain't No Crime." 

Bob Wurst performs a free concert at 2 p.m. at the Veterans' Pavilion. The Van-Dells, a '50s’ and '60s’ band, is slated for a free South-Stage concert at 7:30 Saturday night.  

The Fair Board is offering free Grandstand admission to harness racing with pari-mutuel wagering.  Trotters and pacers take to the track on Saturday, August 30, at 1 p.m., Monday, September 1, at noon and Tuesday, September 2, at 6:30 p.m. 

On opening day, Friday, August 29, NTPA-sanctioned tractor and truck pulls power their way into the Fulton County Grandstand infield at 6:30 p.m.  Earlier in the day, out-of-field and antique tractor pulls open the Fair at 9 a.m. 

On Saturday, August 30, at 7:30 p.m., drivers in the Rough Truck Challenge fire up their high-powered engines for an exciting night of gear-jammin’ action. Plus, all those with grand-stand tickets will have the opportunity to ride the Dodge Raminator Ride Truck prior to the show.

Clashing Combines rumbles its way into the Grandstand infield at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3.

Two big automobile demolition derbies – at 6 and 8:30 p.m. – end the 2008 Fulton County Fair with a bang on Thursday, September 4.

The fair features a wide variety of agricultural and livestock categories, rides line the midway and local performers entertain free of charge at the South Stage and Gospel Tent, the Veterans’ Free Ham and Bean Dinner on Saturday and the Golden Wedding Party on Sunday, an array of treats that range from milkshakes to lemonade, from sausage sandwiches to beef barbecue and from elephant ears to deep-fried Twinkies.  

New to the 2008 Fair is the World Class Whitetail Deer Exhibit, which features mounts of trophy-size whitetails. 

And, in response to the popularity of the “150 Years of Grain Harvesting” display at last year’s Fair, an all-new exhibit titled “Corn Harvesting Through the Years.”

Also making its first appearance at this year’s Fair is the 4-H 400 Backseat Driver Contest, which follows the Showman of Showmen contest in Spangler Arena on Tuesday, September 2.  Co-ed teams will maneuver an obstacle course in a golf cart; the male, who will drive, will be blindfolded, while the female gives him directions. 

In the middle of the Fairgrounds, the old firehouse/EMT station, has additional showers and restrooms.  At the south end of the Fairgrounds, fire crews and EMTs will be located at the building site of a much-needed new facility that will be completed by the 2009 Fair.  

The 2008 Fulton County Fair also offers special groups free admission on specified days. Veterans and their spouses will be admitted free on Saturday, August 30, till 6 p.m.; schoolchildren, on Junior Fair Day, Tuesday, September 2, (along with special ride prices from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.); and senior citizens ages 65 and better, on Wednesday, September 3, till 6 p.m.  Free admission does not include ticketed shows.

Country crooner and self-proclaimed Buckeye Bob Wurst will perform in a free concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 30, at the Veterans' Pavilion to honor those who served America.  That night, at 7:30 p.m., the Van-Dells will appear in a free South-Stage concert.  Throughout Fair Week, singers and musicians will perform free of charge at the South Stage and at the Gospel Tent.  

Gate admission is just $5 a person, with children ages 15 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.  Parking is free, too. 

Visitors have access to free entertainment, shows, demonstrations, activities and displays.

  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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