Full animal barns, rows of agricultural displays, area merchants, a bustling midway, tantalizing fair food and the sights and sound of tractors, derbies, and music will welcome fairgoers to the 164th Fulton County Fair.
Slated to run Friday through next Thursday, the Fair marks the end of summer for many, but not until people can enjoy seven full days of fun. After a year and a half of unknowns and limited contacts, the Fulton County Fair Board is working full steam ahead and looks forward to welcoming fairgoers from across the region to the 164th Fair.
“2020 was a challenging year,” said Dennis Wyse, Fulton County Fair Board president. “Now more than ever, we need the support of our community members, whether it be by volunteering, financial support, general attendance, or participation. The Fair has always been blessed and we are confident that the community support will continue. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Fair enjoying the tradition of friendship, food, competition, and entertainment. And keeping the Fulton County Fair the “Top of Ohio” as it has been for many years.”
Since 1857, people from the region have come together to celebrate their agricultural roots, family, and community. Whether competing in livestock competitions, enjoying a concert, or eating a full variety of fair food, the choices are seemingly endless for all ages.
The lineup of entertainment and activities at this traditional county fair is especially impressive this year – call it a Welcome Back celebration. From top-name entertainment in the grandstands to free attractions throughout fair week.
No matter your musical taste, there’s a full lineup of entertainment for everyone including classic rock, country, gospel, contemporary Christian, and oldies, just to get you started. For those who enjoy engines revving or hoofs pounding the track, there’s seven full days of grandstand events fairgoers can look forward to.
And let’s not forget the grandparents, parents, friends, and family members cheering on the Jr. Fair youth as they make their way to the show arenas to compete with their projects they have been diligently working on all summer long.
There will be traditional agricultural displays, a variety of demonstrations, midway rides, and the ever-popular fair food including donuts, milkshakes, BBQ chicken, apple dumplings, and one-of-a-kind pork and rib-eye sandwiches.
One new attraction has been 65 million years in the making – The Dino Roar! Show. The show features a growing T-Rex, a few rambunctious baby dinos, and some other surprises that will have the kids mesmerized.
Between the shows, these creatures of old will be roaming the midway. In addition to the shows, which will be held several times a day Saturday through Tuesday, there will be a sand pit where children can explore and dig for fossils.
Grandstand entertainment for the 164th Fulton County Fair includes returning country singer/songwriter Jake Owen. In 2008 Owen opened for Joe Nichols; he’s back with more chart-topping hits including “Made For You,” “I was Jack (You Were Diane)” and most recent #1 single, “Homemade” which was nominated in 2020 for CMA’s Best Video of the Year.
Owen, who will take the stage on Labor Day Monday, has eight No. 1 songs to his name.
Sunday’s Classic Rock Concert will feature Grand Funk Railroad and Little River Band. For Grand Funk, it all started in 1969 in Flint, MI as a trio, their legacy music still reigns over the airwaves. Their mega-hits include “We’re An American Band,” “I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home,” “Locomotion,” and “Some Kind Of Wonderful.”
Little River Band will bring their vocal and musical energy to the stage performing ‘70s and ‘80s chart-topping hits like “Reminiscing,” “Cool Change, Lonesome Loser,” “Take It Easy on Me,” and “The Night Owls.”
Tickets for the concerts and other grandstand events are available through the Fair’s Online Box Office at FultonCountyFair.com or at the Ticket Office.
Come Saturday morning of Fair, you’ll see people setting up their chairs in front of the South Stage to hold their spot for the Fair’s most popular free entertainment, The Van-Dells. By showtime, which is 7:30 p.m., the park is sure to be overflowing with fairgoers who are ready to rock around the clock.
If gears grinding, engines revving, and metal crunching is more your style, then the Fulton County Fair has you covered with a full list of mechanic mayhem to choose from.
On Friday at 6:30 p.m. Gerald Grain Center Agronomy presents the NTPA-Sanctioned M.E. Miller Tractor and Truck Pulls. These national and regional rated pulls attract pullers from across the US and have been a grandstand favorite for years. The mechanical pulls continue Saturday, as the Maumee Valley Pullers gear up for the Pickup Truck & Tri-State Mini Tractor Pulls. And returning as a regional favorite, KOI Drag Racing will have competition filling the tracks on Wednesday evening.
The Grandstand competition comes to an end on Thursday, Sept. 9. Derby drivers in training will mount their Power Wheels and take to the track to display their techniques of ramming and crashing. The Power Wheel Derby is open to youth aged 4 – 10. Once the track is cleared of the budding drivers, the adults take to the track for an evening of derby mayhem.
For those who prefer their horsepower to be of the four-legged variety, the Fulton County Fair offers two big days of harness racing with pari-mutuel wagering available. The opening race will kick things off on Saturday, Sept. 4, race attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite hat and race attire on Saturday for the Derby Hat contest. The harness racing excitement continues under the lights on Tuesday, Sept. 7.
Fairgoers can also enjoy raw horsepower on Sunday featuring the Michigan Miniature Horse Pull and the Bits & Harness Pony Pull. If grace and decorum is more your style, then make sure to visit the South Creek Clydesdale Horses Saturday through Tuesday or watch the Draft Horse & Pony Show Wednesday morning.
It wouldn’t be the Fulton County Fair without the agricultural displays and Junior Fair projects that feature farm animals of every size, species and purpose. There’s a full schedule of animal judging— both Jr. Fair and Open Class. Competitions in antiques, vegetables, fine arts, culinary, and many others will also be held.
An auction of these one-of-a-kind baked goods will take place on Friday at 5 p.m. in the Veterans’ Pavilion.
“We will have plenty of free entertainment and activities available for Fulton County fairgoers,” said Wyse. “Fire Safety Demonstrations, a 6-Horse Draft Team are among the multitude of opportunities for family fun at the Fair.”
Women’s Day is Wednesday, Sept. 8 and includes special demonstration. And, the theme for this year’s heritage display is the “Evolution of Weed Control.” Viewers will see what innovative ways farmers have developed methods over the years to keep those pesky weeds at bay.
Three days of the Fair have been set aside to recognize and celebrate special groups in Fulton County. On Saturday, all veterans, and their spouses, will receive free admission until 6 p.m. and are invited to attend the free ham and bean dinner sponsored by the Fulton County United Veterans Association beginning at noon. On Tuesday, Sept. 7, which is Junior Fair Day, schoolchildren will receive free admission until 6 p.m. and discounted ride prices from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. On Wednesday, Senior Citizens’ Day, fairgoers ages 65 and older will be admitted free until 6 p.m.
Regular gate admission to the Fulton County Fair is $5 per person and includes free parking. Children 15 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Season tickets may be purchased for $20 prior to the Fair from 4-H and service clubs, at the Fair office, or area businesses. Season tickets are available at the gate Friday and Saturday of Fair for $25. Gate or free admission does not include ticketed shows.
Ranked as the No. 1 Fair in Ohio in 2019 by the Ohio Fair Managers Association, the Fulton County Fair expects to attract nearly 300,000 visitors once again this year to the “Top of Ohio” Fairgrounds, just north of Wauseon on State Route 108.