The Ripley County fair, slated for July 21-27 at Osgood’s fairgrounds, “is the celebration of another year in 4-H.” David Osborne, the county’s Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service director, points out, “Every animal and every project will be new.”
Two fresh grandstand events will ramp up the excitement. On Monday at 7:30 p.m. the horse pull features teams of usually two horses tugging weighted sleds.
Adult and youth teams of four (two girls and two guys) will compete during Wednesday’s barnyard Olympics at 7:30 p.m., sponsored by Farm Bureau. The winners will be selected based on lowest times in six to eight events. Spectators will see “some of the old, fun games they used to play around the farm when they didn’t have videos,” such as rolling bales of hay, stacking hay and running while carrying an egg on a spoon.
The remaining grandstand events are favorites: Sunday, 7:30 p.m., greased pig contest; Tuesday, 7 p.m., garden tractor pull; Thursday, 7:30 p.m., quad, cycle and side-by-side flat drags; Friday, 7 p.m., truck drags; Saturday, 7:30 p.m., truck and tractor pull.
Grandstand fees are $7 for adults and $3 for children. In addition, parking is $2, and attendees can purchase $5 passes that can be used all week.
Osborne expects over 2,000 projects to be on display. “Whether it’s cookies ... or the grand champion steer,” when projects are completed, “hopefully they learn lifelong skills.” He observes, “In Ripley County, we have over 500 kids in 4-H and more than two-thirds of those are involved in some form of animal projects.
The livestock category “is big in Ripley County because of our agricultural background.” The 4-H members “don’t spend an exorbitant amount of money on their animals” like other places. “They’ve learned responsibility and animal husbandry and how to feed and care for the animal.”
In addition to viewing the kids’ handiwork, fair-goers can enjoy free stage entertainment: Sunday, 6 p.m., opening, banner parade and fashion review; Monday, 5 p.m., baby show; Tuesday, 5 p.m.,national pedal pullers and racers; Saturday, 7 p.m., 4-H awards program. A band or two may be added as well.
Visitors will savor a variety of menu items. “Pork burgers is probably the biggest sandwich we sell,” according to the director. One new stand, manned by Osgood American Legion members, will offer fish sandwiches. Other choices range from hamburgers, hot dogs and barbecue to cotton candy, elephant ears, sausages and lemon shake-ups.
Midway amusements, open 6-10 p.m., have been run by Funtime Carnival, Cincinnati, for years. On Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, thrill-seekers can ride all they want by purchasing $17 wristbands.
Organizing the annual event is a team effort. In addition to Osborne, the county extension staff includes educator Katie Johnson, office manager Donna Hughes, summer program assistant B.J. Narwold and summer assistants Erin Moll and Courtney Smith.
Two groups of volunteers pitch in. County extension board members are President Mark Combs, Batesville; Vice President Mary Ann Hartman, Sunman; Secretary Donna Pitts, Milan; James Frey, Batesville; Steve Meyer, Napoleon; Beverly Probst, Versailles; Fred Glover and Mary Schmaltz, Milan; Paul Anderson, Moores Hill; Warren Boles, Tom Menchhofer and Mike Swango, Holton.
Ripley County 4-H Corp. members are President Kevin Kunz, Osgood; Vice President Brian Evans, Versailles; Secretary Chelsa Dwenger, Osgood; Treasurer Randy Bauman, Sunman; Tammy Sidell, Brenda Moll and Junior Leader Katilyn Miller, Batesville; Dan Pilz and Brandy Meyer, Napoleon; John Hiltenbeitel, Shele Wiedeman and Junior Leader Scott Stenger, Sunman; Deb Ertel, Osgood; Rob Vestal, Monica Hansen, Bryan Franklin and Steve Franklin, Versailles; Jeff Meinders, Charles Baylor, Nicole Cain and Peggy Lewis, Milan; and Sherry Garner, Dillsboro.
Area residents should congregate in Osgood next week because the fair is fun, he says. “It’s a family event. I still think the fair is something you can come up and go to a grandstand event and let your children run around and ride the rides in a safe atmosphere .... We’ve tried to keep things as economical as we can. Grandstand prices have been the same” for a decade. Proceeds go “straight back into the kids and the program.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
WHEN TO GO • An events schedule will appear in the July 19 issue. • Info: https://sites.google.com/site/ripleycounty4hfair/home.