Workers at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds set up what will become the Farm Bureau Tent on the south end of the fairgrounds Friday afternoon. The 158th edition of the fair will run Wed. Aug. 27 - Sun. Sept. 1. (DHI Media/Ed Gebert)
Workers at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds set up what will become the Farm Bureau Tent on the south end of the fairgrounds Friday afternoon. The 158th edition of the fair will run Wed. Aug. 27 - Sun. Sept. 1. (DHI Media/Ed Gebert)

VAN WERT — A few traditions are being adjusted a little for the 158th edition of the Van Wert County Fair which officially opens on Wednesday. There are new events, a new building, and some new days and times for favorite events in the 2014 celebration. But changes are nothing new at the fair. The first fair was in 1855, and the only event that has pre-empted the fair is the American Civil War. That is a lot of history.

The first fair was a one-day affair held at the former location of Dull Lumber. The fair was held over two days, two years later, and by 1871, the event lasted three days. The length of the fair has fluctuated many times since then.

This year’s fair will run through Monday, September 1, followed by the annual livestock auction Tuesday morning at the Farm Focus arena. The most obvious change for 2014 is the replacement of the Rabbit Barn. The old structure, which had been the oldest structure on the grounds, was taken down, and a new version has taken its place. Also removed was the Gospel Pavilion which was damaged by high winds this winter. A large tent covers this area now and will serve as the Gospel Tent this year before a new venue is built for 2015.

The grandstand can now be accessed by a ramp, especially for handicapped patrons. The grandstand will be a popular place with events throughout the fair beginning with the tug-a-truck contest on the night before the fair. Wednesday and Thursday nights, harness racing returns to the Grandstand. On Friday night, the Michindoh Truck & Tractor Pull will be held. Saturday night is the Triple Play of the Calf Scramble, hot air balloon glow and concert from Emerald Blue. The ever-popular demolition derby will be held Sunday night, and on Monday, it’s Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing at noon and a hot air balloon glow at night.



Other events are scheduled during the week in the daylight hours also at the Grandstand, like hot air balloon rides and Kids Dream Day when kids get to drive a tractor around the race track.

Many fine musicians will be performing during the week at both the Gospel Tent and the Entertainment Tent. At the Gospel Tent you can hear Chris August, The Minister’s Quartet, the Freedom Quartet, Trinity, and Davis Dunn. At the Entertainment Tent, look for Blair Carman, Cook and Belle, Connor Rose, Polly Mae, and Broken Lights.

The midway will open up Wednesday at 3 p.m. with rides for kids of all ages. The Opening Ceremonies will be held at the Grandstand Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the Flag Raising will come at 6:45 p.m.

The traditional Band Show has been changed this year to Build Your Own Band Show event with bands marching an playing on the midway during the fair. The Cheerleading Show remains in its traditional Saturday morning time slot with the first squad performing at 9:30 a.m.

Thursday has been designated as Kids Day at the Van Wert County Fair with $3 admission for the day and kids 8 and under getting in free if accompanied by an adult.

Veteran’s Day is set for Friday, with free admission for veterans and their spouses. Friday is also Senior Citizens Day with free admission extended to anyone age 60 and older.

There are a few other changes to the schedule, including some animal show times, and the 4-H King and Queen Coronation Sunday night at 8 p.m. in the Entertainment Tent. A roster of scheduled events is listed online with this story at timesbulletin.com or is available on the Van Wert County Fair website at vanwertcountyfair.com.

Tuesday August 26, 2014
• 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Baked Goods, Potted Plants and Flower Entry In Place at Admin Building
• 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Hog Weigh-In at Hog Barn (Plan A) and Beef & Feeders Weigh-In at Beef Barn Junior Fair
• 5-7 p.m. - Broilers and Roasters In Place at Poultry Barn Junior Fair
• 7 p.m. - Baked Goods Judging at Admin Building
• 7-9 p.m. - Rabbit Weigh-In at Rabbit Barn Junior Fair
• 8 p.m. - All Junior Fair exhibits to be In Place Junior Fair
• 12-9 p.m. - Senior Fair Farm Product to be In Place at Ag Building
• 6 p.m.- Deadline for Director Candidate Petition Filing at Fair Office
• 7 p.m. - Tug-A-Truck Contest at Grandstand

Wednesday August 27, 2014
• 8 a.m. - Fair Officially Opens!
• 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Canned Goods Judging at Ag Building
• 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Vegetable and Horticulture Judging at Ag Building
• 10 a.m. - Commercial Building Opens
• 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Turkey Weigh-In at Baby Land Junior Fair
• 12-1 p.m.- Sheep Weigh-In near Baby Land Junior Fair
• 1-1:30 p.m. - Goat Weigh-In near Baby Land Junior Fair
• 1-3 p.m. - Farm Products Judging at Ag Building
• 2-4 p.m. - Potted Plants & Flowers Judging at Admin Building
• 3 p.m. - Midway and Rides Open
• 5 p.m. - Official Grand Opening at Grandstand
• 6 p.m. - Dog Show & Exhibition at Farm Focus Arena Junior Fair
• 6:45 p.m. - Flag Raising at Grandstand
• 7-10 p.m.- Harness Racing at Grandstand
• 8 p.m. - 4-H Special Awards Ceremony at Gospel Pavilion Junior Fair
• 10 p.m. - Commercial & Administration Building Closed
• 12 a.m. - Curfew - Fair Closed

Thursday, August 28, 2014 KIDS DAY! $3.00 Admission for Everyone - Kids 8 and Under FREE!
• 8 a.m. - Gates & Admin Building Opens
• 9 a.m. - Turkey Show at Turkey Barn Junior Fair
• 10 a.m. - Commercial Building Open
• 12 p.m. - FFA Crop (Ag Building) and Shop (Jr Fair Building) Judging and Interviews Junior Fair
• 2-5 p.m. - Kids Dream Day - Kids get to drive a tractor around the Grandstand track!
• 3 p.m. - FFA Vegetable and Flowering Judging at Ag Building Junior Fair
• 3 p.m. - Rides Open
• 3-10 p.m. - Living Statue on the Midway
• 5 p.m. - Ronald McDonald performs “A Friendship Adventure” at Entertainment Tent
• 5-9 p.m. - Rolling Video Games near the Old Treasurer’s Office
• 6 p.m. - All Senior Fair Livestock In Place
• 7 p.m. - Freedom Quartet at Gospel Pavilion
• 7-10 p.m. - Harness Racing at Grandstand
• 7-10 p.m. - Country Music Performers “Polly Mae” perform at Entertainment Tent
• 10 p.m. - Commercial & Administration Building Closed
• 12 a.m. - Curfew - Fair Closed

Friday, August 29, 2014 HAPPY VETERANS DAY! - Veterans and Spouses FREE!
SENIOR CITIZEN DAY - Senior Citizens Age 60 and Over FREE!

• 8 a.m. - Gates & Admin Building Opens
• 8:30-10 a.m. - Free Donuts for Veterans and Seniors at Entertainment Tent
• 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Veterans Service Office Open at Entertainment Tent
• 9 a.m. - Open Class Mules & Miniature Horse and Senior Fair Horse Show at Sr. Fair Horse Arena
• 9 a.m. - Senior Fair Poultry Show at Poultry Barn
• 9 a.m. - Dairy Show at Farm Focus Arena Junior Fair
• 10 a.m. - Commercial Building Open
• 10:45 a.m. - Veterans Day Parade - Starts at Balyeat Ave
• 11 a.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 11 a.m. - Veterans Day Program at Entertainment Tent
• 12 p.m. - Senior Fair Stock Horse Show at Sr Fair Horse Arena
• 12 p.m. until supplies last! - Free Ham and Beans at Entertainment Tent
• 1-6 p.m. - Singles 100 Shoe Tournament at Horseshoe Court
• 2 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 3 p.m. - Rides Open 3-10 p.m. - Living Statue on the Midway
• 4 p.m. - Rabbit Show at Rabbit Barn Junior Fair
• 5 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 5-9 p.m. - Rolling Video Games near the Old Treasurer’s Office
• 6 p.m. - Balloon Launch - Balloon rides at Grandstand Infield
• 7 p.m. - The Ministers Quartet at Gospel Pavilion
• 7 p.m. - Michindoh Truck & Tractor Pull at Grandstand
• 7-10 p.m. - Country Music Performer Connor Rose at Entertainment Tent
• 8 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 10 p.m. - Commercial & Administration Building Closed
• 12 a.m. - Curfew - Fair Closed

Saturday, August 30, 2014
• 7 a.m. - Balloon Launch - Balloon rides at Grandstand Infield
• 8 a.m. - Gates & Admin Building Opens
• 8 a.m. - American Dairy Goat Show at Sheep & Goat Arena
• 8:30 a.m. - Dairy Feeder Show at Farm Focus Arena Junior Fair
• 9 a.m. - Senior Rabbit Show at Rabbit Barn
• 9 a.m. - Open Class Ponies & Draft Horses at Sr Fair Horse Arena
• 9 a.m. - Double Elimination Tournament at Horseshoe Court
• 9 a.m. - Senior Fair Crops and Canned Food Judging at Ag Building
• 9 a.m. - Poultry Show at Poultry Barn Junior Fair
• 9:30 a.m. - 2 pm - Cheerleading Show
• 10 a.m. - Commercial Building Open
• 11 a.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 12 p.m. - Rides Open
• 12 p.m. - Senior Fair Stock Horse Show at Sr Fair Horse Arena
• 12 p.m. - Beef Show at Farm Focus Arena Junior Fair
• 12-1 p.m. - Kiddie Tractor Pull Sign-up at Entertainment Tent
• 12-3 p.m. - Children Choosing Christ at Gospel Pavilion
• 1-3 p.m. - Kiddie Tractor Pull at Entertainment Tent
• 1-6 p.m. - Singles Horseshoe Contest and Horseshoe Court
• 1-9 p.m. - Rolling Video Games near the Old Treasurer’s Office
• 2 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 2-8 p.m. - Kids Dream Day - Kids get to drive a tractor around the Grandstand track!
• 3 p.m. - Rabbit Show at Rabbit Barn Goat Show at Sheep & Goat Arena Junior Fair
• 4 p.m. - Bruiser Wrestling near Jr Fair Building
• 4-6:30 p.m. - “Open to the World” Feeder Calf Show at Farm Focus Arena
• 4 p.m. - Figure 8 Racing at Grandstand
• 5 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 5:30 p.m. - Veridia (opening for Chris August) at Gospel Pavilion
• 6 p.m. - Balloon Launch and Tethered Balloon Rides at Grandstand Infield
• 6-7 p.m. - St. Mary’s Catholic Church Service
• 7 p.m. - Chris August at Gospel Pavilion
• 7-10 p.m.- Rockabilly performer Blair Carman at Entertainment Tent
• 7:30 p.m. - Calf Scramble at Grandstand
• 7:30 p.m. - Horse Contesting Junior Fair
• 8 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 9:45-11:15 p.m. - Balloon Glow at Grandstand
• 9:45-11:15 p.m. - Country Music Performers Emerald Blue perform at Grandstand
• 10 p.m. - Commercial & Administration Building Closed
• 12 a.m. - Curfew - Fair Closed

Sunday, August 31, 2014
• 7 a.m. - Balloon Launch - Balloon rides at Grandstand Infield
• 7 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Hog Weigh-In (Plan B) at Hog Barn Junior Fair
• 8 a.m. - Gates Opens
• 9 a.m. - Horse Pleasure Show at Jr Horse Arena Junior Fair
• 11 a.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 11:30 a.m. - Rabbit Showmanship at Rabbit Barn Junior Fair
• 12 p.m. - Rides Open and Commercial & Admin Buildings Open
• 1 p.m. - Horse Pull at Grandstand
• 1 p.m. - Double Horseshoe Tournament at Horseshoe Court
• 1-8 p.m. - Kids Dream Day - Kids drive tractor around Grandstand track
• 1-2 p.m. - 4-H Talent Show Junior Fair
• 1-5 p.m. - Children Choosing Christ at Gospel Pavilion
• 1-9 p.m. - Rolling Video Games near the Old Treasurer’s Office
• 2 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 2-4 p.m. - 4-H Style Review at Entertainment Tent Junior Fair
• 4:45 p.m. - Van Wert County Market Lamb Show at Sheep & Goat Arena
• 5 p.m. - Ryan Trentman Memorial Swine Show at Farm Focus Arena
• 5 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 5 p.m. - Milk Mustache Contest at Dairy Barn Junior Fair
• 5:30 p.m. - “Open to the World” Market Lamb Show
• 6 p.m. - Balloon Launch and Tethered Balloon Rides at Grandstand Infield
• 7 p.m. - David Dunn at Gospel Pavilion
• 7 p.m. - Auto Demolition Derby at Grandstand
• 7 p.m. - Country Music Performers Cook & Belle at Entertainment Tent
• 8 p.m.. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 10 p.m. - Commercial & Administration Building Closed
• 12 a.m. - Curfew - Fair Closed

Monday, September 1, 2014
• 7 a.m. - Balloon Launch - Balloon rides at Grandstand Infield
• 8 a.m. - Gates & Admin Building Opens
• 8 a.m. - Open Sheep Show at Sheep & Goat Arena
• 8:30 a.m. - Swine Show at Farm Focus Arena Junior Fair
• 11 a.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 12 p.m. - Rides Open
• 12-5 p.m. - Thoroughbred & Quarter Horse Races at Grandstand
• 1-9 p.m.- Rolling Video Games near the Old Treasurer’s Office
• 2 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver Show near Jr Fair Building
• 3 p.m. - Senior Fair Dairy Show at Farm Focus Arena
• 3 p.m. - Jr Fair Horse Fun Show at Jr Horse Arena Junior Fair
• 4 p.m. - Entertainment at Gospel Pavilion TBA
• 5 p.m. - Trinity at Gospel Pavilion
• 6 p.m. - Balloon Launch - Balloon rides at Grandstand Infield
• 6 p.m. - Showman of Showmen at Farm Focus Arena Junior Fair
• 7 p.m. - Bear Hollow Wood Carver *Auction* near Jr Fair Building
• 7 p.m. - Build the New Band Show Featuring Naked Karate Girls at Grandstand
• 7-10 p.m. - Rock and Roll Performers Broken Lights at Entertainment Tent
• 7 p.m. - Soul’d Out Quartet at Gospel Pavilion
• 7 p.m. - Fair Ends - Junior Fair Fun Night Begins at Farm Focus Arena Junior Fair
• 9:45-11:15 p.m. - Balloon Glow at Grandstand
• 10 p.m. - Commercial & Administration Building Closed
• 12 a.m. - Curfew - Fair Closed

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
• 8 a.m. - All exhibits Released
• 9 a.m. - Junior Fair Livestock Sale Junior Fair