Sandusky County Blogs

166th Annual Sandusky County Fair

Publication Date : 09/26/2018 23:48:33

Author : Mandy Burris

  • County Fair
  • Sandusky County Fair

Our County Fair has been running since 1852. Our fair is a great tradition, because it gives us an opportunity to see the agriculture and creativity of all ages in our area. The fair also gives the 4-H groups in our area an opportunity to show everyone what they’ve learned, and how they’ve grown during their various projects during the year. Our fair has it all, and it is a good closing to the summer for everyone in the area.


One thing that locals joke about during the year is what the weather will be like for the fair. We always know that there will be rain at some point, because it’s almost a tradition for at least one day of the fair to be rained out. This year the opening day had torrential downpours followed by intense humidity and heat. It was mild for a couple of days, but the rain came back on Saturday. The rain during this year’s fair led to some big events being cancelled, which is always a disappointment. The horse judging was rained out midway on Tuesday which also meant that there would be no races that night. The horse shows at the end of the week were also cancelled along with the pig scramble, and the tractor pull. There were a couple of grand stand events that took place this year though, so it was not a total loss! I guess you could say that the rain put a real “damper” on things this year.


Tuesday (opening day) didn’t see as big of a crowd, being as it rained most of the day. Many vendors were worried that that didn’t bode well for the rest of the week, however, the rest of the week definitely saw good crowds! The first morning it looked like a ghost town, since it was raining off and on and at least half the tents didn’t open that day. There were plenty of indoor things to see and do though! The animals were being judged and that took place in the barns and under tents. The baked goods and agriculture judging took place in barns as well.

produce2    produce1


I had the opportunity to watch some of the baked goods being judged, which was actually quite interesting! I was able to see a great deliberation of the best of show in pies, and the rest of the judging for breads and cupcakes. It was neat to see how/what they chose for placement ribbons. Later that evening there was the baked goods auction. The auction is a great way for local businesses (small and large) and politicians to show they support their local communities. When they bid an item up, not only is it good for the baker, but it also benefits the fairgrounds as well. Half of the proceeds of an item go to the baker and half goes to the fairgrounds’ funds for various needs. I believe the highest bid item went for $190 that evening.

bake3    bake4

There are plenty of events for the 4-H kids to be involved in during the week, which makes the fair an extra fun time for them! They had opportunities to have fun and be competitive at the same time through scavenger hunts, and an animal dress up competition. (I got to see a goat dressed as a unicorn and a cow in a tutu…it was super cute!) There were also opportunities for them to have some good fun together without competing. There was a square dance Friday night (County Commissioner Charlie Schwochow led the band and called), and there was one 4-H group that passed out cookies to veterans on Thursday night.


square dance    square dance2

Our fair is unique in that it features 4-H and adult exhibits together. Where I grew up our fair was 4-H only, there were no rides or carny games, and there wasn’t a big junk food alley! I moved here and began attending the fair about 13 years ago, and it was a bit of a shock! (It has always been fun though!) There are foods that everyone looks forward to, and foods that are done the best only by certain vendors. (Every year my husband and I look forward to Mike’s Cheese Shack…they have best fried cheese you could ask for! I know others that look forward to one specific booth’s waffles, because they’re the crispiest and most flavorful.) There is no possible way a person could go hungry at the fair, that is unless they just can’t decide on what to eat! {Fried veggies, Chinese food, Mexican corn, fresh juice, Stromboli, French fries covered in cheese, cotton candy, soft pretzels, caramel apples, corn dogs, popcorn…the list could go on forever!}


food2    food alley

The kids always enjoy the rides and the midway as well. They love the challenge of pushing their limits (or testing their stomachs…) on new rides, and pushing for a specific prize from the carny games. (You always see a select few walking around with those ginormous stuffies and you know that they’re superior gamers.) Other fun things for the kids were face painting, sand art, henna tattoos, make your own giant pixie stix, and finding fun items from the various tent vendors. (My niece and I walked away with bracelets and leggings…WINNING!!!)




Last but not least, one thing I always look forward to is the shows that take place at the fair. This year we had a Jurassic Kingdom show and a Pork Chop Review. (In the past we’ve had tiger shows and a circus!) Both shows this year were fun for the whole family, but of course the kids were way more into it than the adults. I finally got to see the shows on Sunday afternoon, which was the hottest day that week (full on sun and 90 degrees). Both shows were set up in the sun, so it was a bit hot, but the kids didn’t mind at all. The Pork Chop Review had pigs that sang and did stunts, while Jurassic Kingdom had interactive life-size dinosaurs that the kids actually got to touch. We had a fun time watching a pig and an audience member sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and it was fun to see the kids get so excited about touching a baby Brontosaurus (some were a little bit more timid when it came to the Velociraptor and the T-Rex though).  

pig show

dino standing tall    dino selfie face

The Sandusky County Fair is always a fun part of my summer. I find it joyful and fun seeing the kids I know win best of show in the baking competition, and seeing a good friend win best of show with her art. I believe what brought me the most joy during the fair this year was walking through the pig barn, and hearing the high-pitched giggles of my 9 year old niece as the pigs smelled/nuzzled her hands (she had cheese and fry residue on them). Another good memory was being able to share a handmade 4-H milkshake with my husband as we walked through the animal barns, while holding hands. The fair has always had fun for all ages, and we can’t wait to see what next year’s fair brings our way!

pig    best of show art

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