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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    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.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.
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