NEW MANCHESTER - There are county fairs, and then there's the Hancock County Oldtime Fair.
Chartered in 1930, the Hancock County Oldtime Fair brings back the feelings and exhibits of fairs when they were more about livestock, canned goods and farm equipment and less about rides, greasy french fries and midway games.
The fair opens at 5 p.m. Friday with the Tractor Parade to Tomlinson Run State Park and continues through 5 p.m. Sunday, when exhibits are released. Gates open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
"Our fair is an old-fashioned fair," said Lisa Virden, president of the Hancock County Oldtime Fair Board. "We don't have the big rides and stuff."
The one ride fair-goers will find is the tractor shuttle from the main parking area to the swimming pool area of Tomlinson Run State Park, where the fair will be staged.
Virden said the fair's biggest features include the exhibits in 16 different categories, the craft and food vendors, the livestock, the entertainment and the vintage farm equipment.
"Every year, it seems to get bigger and bigger," she said.
What sets the Oldtime Fair apart from other fairs, Virden said, are unusual things such as the Pet Contest and Parade at 6:30 p.m. Friday, the Barnyard Olympics at noon Saturday and the Kiss-a-Donkey Contest at 2 p.m. Sept. 16.
The way the fair opens also is unique. The Tractor Parade will start near state Route 8 and U.S. Route 30 and continue south on Route 8 to Tomlinson Run.
"All the guys on tractors just join in as the tractors pass their roads," Virden said.
New this year will be a watermelon-eating contest, a jump rope contest and a seed-spitting contest, Virden said.
The Kiss-a-Donkey Contest will feature one of the Hancock County commissioners - Jeff Davis, Mike Swartzmiller or Dan Greathouse - kissing a donkey. To vote for a commissioner, drop money into his can at various locations throughout Hancock County, Virden said.
Other highlights include:
The Kidz Kookie Kontest at 11 a.m. Saturday;
The Best Homemade Apple Pie Contest at 11 a.m. Saturday;
The Baked Goods Auction at 2 p.m. Saturday;
The American Classic Car Show at 10 a.m. Sunday;
The Duck Race, sponsored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, at noon Sunday; and
The Cornhole Tournament at 1 p.m. Sunday;
The Barnyard Olympics will allow fair-goers to test their skills at the skillet toss, the rolling pin toss, pie eating and other activities, Virden said.
The entertainment schedule is as follows:
Friday at 6 p.m., Dale and the Boys;
Saturday at 2 p.m., "Magic Man" Jim Tate; 3 p.m., Suzanne Laughlin; 4 p.m., Awesome Possum; 6 p.m., Tri-State Music; and
Sunday at noon, Bud Simmons; 1 p.m., Spinning Jenny; 2 p.m., Joseph Sisters; 3 p.m., Route 45.
Admission to the fair is $1 on Saturday and Sunday and a non-perishable food item on Friday. Food items will be donated to F.I.S.H. of East Liverpool.
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