For those wondering whether the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair would be held this year, the answer recently appeared on the event’s website: “You Betcha we’re having the Carroll County Fair this year!”
A staple of summer in Carroll County, the annual fair will return to “normal” after a truncated version was held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Held annually since 1897 and at the Carroll County Agriculture Center since 1954, the fair is set to open officially on July 31 and run through Aug. 6.
The plan is to hold the fair without limitations, said Jim Weishaar, chair of the Fair Board.
“We had a meeting about a week ago with the health department, shortly after the governor made his announcements opening up outdoor and indoor venues,” Weishaar said. “They gave us the [information] that there really were not any stringent restrictions as of right now. They made a couple of suggestions to us, but they said we could go back to normal.”
In a traditional year, he said, depending on the weather, anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 spectators will visit the Ag Center grounds during fair week. Last year, attendance was “very small,” Weishaar said, as restrictions limited the fair to just exhibitors and their families, and forced the cancellation of the biggest attractions.
The main purpose of the fair is to showcase Carroll County 4-H and FFA members exhibiting project areas ranging from livestock, crafts and gardening to technology and fine arts. Over the years it evolved into one of Carroll’s signature entertainment events, featuring live music and some motor sports, as well as pig racing and blacksmith demonstrations.
This year’s entertainment schedule features country music star Mark Chesnutt, a singer-songwriter who has had eight No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country charts. Chesnutt is slated to appear Aug. 5 on Finch Stage following opening act the Garrett Shultz Band.
Other scheduled entertainment includes a tractor pull, vintage farm stock racing, dirt drags and local bands, according to the fair website. A car demolition derby wraps things up Aug. 7 at 5 p.m., after the fair has officially closed.
For more information, go to carrollcountyfair.com.