County Fair kicks off Friday

Midway rides will offer thrills for attendees.

Midway rides will offer thrills for attendees.

Photo provided

Donuts are one of the foods people line up for every year at the Fulton County Fair.

File photo

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 165th Fulton County Fair.

Set to run Friday through Thursday, Sept. 8, the Fair marks the end of summer for many, but not until people can enjoy seven full days of fun. The Fulton County Fair Board is working full steam ahead and looks forward to welcoming Fairgoers from across the region to the 165th Fair.

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Fair enjoying the tradition of friendship, food, competition, and entertainment,” Ron Rice, Fulton County Fair Board president, remarked. “It’s what keeps 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.

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 are seven full days of grandstand events Fairgoers can look forward to.

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, which they have been diligently working on all summer long.

There will be traditional agricultural displays, various demonstrations, midway rides, and the ever-popular fair food, including donuts, milkshakes, apple dumplings, and one-of-a-kind pork and rib-eye sandwiches.

New to Fulton County Fair is Sinjon Smith. This high-energetic band will perform Thursday, Sept. 8, on the South Stage. This is a free concert with paid Fair admission.

Sinjon Smith is a Detroit-based country rock band formed in late 2003. Sinjon Smith’s core is the long-time writing team of Chris Wietzke and Diane Smith, who are known for their memorable melodies and unforgettable hooks. They are able to smear the line between pop/rock and country, bringing the best of both genres to a new sound that sets them apart.

Grandstand entertainment for the 165th Fulton County Fair includes country music star Jimmie Allen with guest opener and American Idol Winner Chayce Beckham. They will take the grandstand stage on Labor Day, Monday, September 5.

Sunday’s Classic Rock Concert will feature 38 Special and Night Ranger.

Tickets for the concerts and other grandstand events are available online at or at the ticket office.

Come Saturday morning of the 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 area is sure to be overflowing with Fairgoers who are ready to rock around the clock.

With their perfect blend of harmonies, zany antics, and some of the best 50s & 60s tunes, the Van-Dells will have the crowd on their feet swayin’ to the music. This concert, along with the other south stage entertainment, is free to Fairgoers. A list of South Stage entertainers will be posted by the stage.

Fulton County Christian Music Ministries has a full lineup. On Sunday, Mark Bishop will be taking the stage, and later in the day well known contemporary Christian band Sanctus Real will be rocking the stage.

The Mylon Hayes Family will be blessing the fairgrounds with their melodious tunes on Sept. 5. The Christian Music Building, located in the northeast corner of the Fairgrounds, will be filled with music throughout the Fair as various performers take the stage. These performances are free to fairgoers and are sponsored by Fulton County Christian Music Ministries. A schedule of performers is available at

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., ME Miller Tire presents the NTPA-Sanctioned 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. 8. 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 4-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. 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. 6.

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 Thunderstruck Percheron 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.

Also, you can’t beat the fresh goodness of baked goods brought to the Fair. An auction of these one-of-a-kind goods will take place on Friday at 5 p.m. in the Veterans’ Pavilion.

Women’s Day is Wednesday, Sept. 7, and includes special demonstrations. The theme for this year’s heritage display is “The History of Agriculture.” Viewers will see the innovative methods and machinery created over the years to advance farming and agriculture to the industry we know it as today.

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. 6, 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, online, or at 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.

Midway rides will offer thrills for attendees. rides will offer thrills for attendees. Photo provided

Donuts are one of the foods people line up for every year at the Fulton County Fair. are one of the foods people line up for every year at the Fulton County Fair. File photo photo photo