Old favorites, new selections among cant-miss events

The Mini- 4-H Pig Show at the Hancock County 4-H Fair last year. (Tom Russo | Daily Reporter)

Special to the Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — The Hancock County 4-H Fair celebrates the area’s agrarian heritage every year with events centered around livestock, tractor, and the blue-ribbon best of what can be made from the harvest. While some of the fair’s can’t-miss events are traditions going back decades, this year’s fair, slated through June 29 at the Hancock County Fairgrounds, 620 Apple St., brings new offerings fair organizers hope will provide affordable entertainment to satisfy all comers.

4-H Fair Parade

When and where: 6 p.m. Saturday, beginning and ending on East Park Avenue

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Cost: Free

Why you should go: The annual fair parade, sponsored by NineStar Connect, features dozens of entrants, which include floats created by the county’s 4-H clubs, antique and contemporary tractors, and local businesses, people running for office and first-responders. Organizer Josh Phares said moving the parade to a 6 p.m. start last year alleviated some of the heat and brought the best audience in years.

Peru Amateur Circus Roadshow

When and where: 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday, fairgrounds multipurpose arena

Cost: $5; ages 3 and younger free

Why you should go: The Peru Amateur Circus ventures south to Greenfield from its home in Peru, Indiana, for the first time, Phares said. Peru, Indiana, claims the title of “Circus Capital of the World” and the Peru Amateur Circus takes part in the Circus City Festival every July. The circus roadshow event, which features mostly youngsters performing, is one of the events appearing at the fair for the first time this year in lieu of monster trucks and the demolition derby, which were removed from the schedule this year. Each show will be 45 minutes and features the performances of acrobats, clowns and entertainers ages 7 to 21.

Donkey Races and Heroes in the Heartland Competition

When and where: 8 p.m. Saturday in the multipurpose arena

Why you should go: The inaugural “Heroes in the Heartland Competition” pits local police and sheriff’s deputies against area firefighters in a game of baseball with a twist. The competitors will ride donkeys during the game, Phares said. Members of the public are invited to take part in donkey races as well. Donkeys are provided by Buckeye Donkey Ball, based in Mount Sterling, Ohio, a company that has hosted other events in Hancock County, he said.

Exhibit Hall

When and where: opens 10 a.m. to close every day of the fair, 4-H exhibit hall

Why you should go: Every year, members of the more than 20 county 4-H clubs submit more than 1,000 projects to be judged, from Lego creations to posters about wild animals. The air-conditioned exhibit hall provides a reprieve from the summer heat or pop-up thunderstorms, if nothing else, and provides fair-goers an opportunity to see the creativity of its young county residents in action. Kathi Riggs, leader of the Blue River Guys and Gals club, said her 4-Hers have submitted projects ranging from cake decorations and wrapped presents to educational presentations on consumer swine.

Silly Safari

When and where: 6 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Pioneer building

Why you should go: ‘Funologist’ Amazon John hosts educational events featuring visits from live animals during two Silly Safaris events. Silly Safaris hosts more than 3,000 live animal shows at schools, libraries and other events, aimed at inspiring animal conservation, according to the business’s website. Each event features a variety of reptiles, mammals, birds and bugs, according to the website.

Petting zoo

When and where: Noon to close Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Hancock Building

Why you should go: The Hancock County 4-H Fair for the first time will feature a petting zoo with pony and camel rides. While many livestock owners don’t mind it if fair-goers interact with their animals, some prefer no one touches their cattle, swine or sheep, Phares said. The petting zoo provides another avenue for youngsters and adults alike to get up close and personal with animals that might be raised on a farm like cows, sheep, goats and pigs.

Baby Contest

When and where: 9 a.m. Saturday, Pioneer Building

Why you should go: The annual baby contest awards superlatives to county babies from newborn to 23 months old, including happiest baby, best eyes, most hair and best smile. Creativity of babies’ parents is awarded as well, as each age category names a best costume award. 2018 Fair Queen Savannah Coe said she loved seeing one baby dressed up as the “2032 Fair Queen,” complete with formalwear.

Carnival and commercial buildings

When and where: 3 p.m. to close every night of the fair

Why you should go: A trip to the Hancock County 4-H Fair isn’t complete without a circuit through the commercial buildings, where local businesses and organizations pitch their displays and often host special offers and giveaways to those interested in signing up for or buying their products. And the carnival, located at the south side of the fairgrounds, provides thrills with rides for all ages and a variety of food trucks featuring typical carnival fare, like cotton candy and hot dogs.

Supreme Showmanship

When and where: 8 p.m. Thursday, 4-H Show Arena

Why you should go: The culmination of all the livestock judging held throughout the week, the supreme showmanship event provides awards to the 4-Hers that displayed the best showmanship skills, which include presenting the animal to a judge, answering questions and keeping the animal positioned so the judge can examine it. The Supreme Showmanship show is held the penultimate night of the fair, with the livestock auction taking place the next evening, and 4-Hers who earn the supreme showman title often earn the highest bids on their livestock as well.

Note: The Xtreme Roughstock Tour Rodeo, slated for 7 p.m. on both Sunday and Monday, has been canceled due to current weather and future forecasts.

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This weekend, the Daily Reporter will have video coverage of various fair activities, including the parade, BBQ contest, Donkey Races and Donkey Baseball.

Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date with fair coverage: Facebook (@GreenfieldDR), Twitter (@GreenfieldDR) or YouTube (Greenfield Daily Reporter).