Several new events, features scheduled for this year’s fair
STANDISH — The Arenac County Fair returns July 29 and is rolling out new events in the arena and on the fairgrounds.
Arenac County Fair Secretary/Manager Melanie Sobieray said there are new events in the fair grandstands Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and Thursday afternoon.
“We’re going to have the Garden Tractor Demolition Derby on Tuesday night, and then a regular car demolition derby on Wednesday night,” she said.
Sobieray said she is not sure if the fair has featured either event before and that if it has, it has not been for several years. Both events are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday night the big arena event is the livestock auction, which starts at 6:45 p.m., but prior to that, the arena will feature animals not accustomed to appearing before the fair crowd.
“At 5 p.m. on Thursday we’re going to have wiener dog races before the livestock sale,” Sobieray said. “Right now I guess they have like 50 dogs coming, so that should be pretty funny.”
Arenac County 4-H Program Coordinator Melissa Prohaska said approximately 100 area youths are selling animals during the auction this year. She said last year the auction totaled more than $110,000 in sales.
“Last year was a record year for our sale,” she said. “The community is very supportive of these kids. It’s great. It’s awesome.”
All of the market animals entered in the fair will be judged on Wednesday, Prohaska said.
“They do a showmanship judge,” she said. “Every youth has to participate in showmanship before they participate in the market judging and the auction.”
The showmanship winners in each animal category will be able to compete for a larger trophy Friday in the Showman of Showmanship competition, Prohaska said.
“If they win showman in the swine, then they compete against all the other winners,” she said. “They have to show a steer, a swine and a lamb before they can get Showman of Showmanship in large animals. And it’s the same with the small animals.”
Small animal Showman of Showmanship competitors will have to show rabbits and poultry and present information on pheasants, Prohaska said. It is not uncommon for individual species winners to ask other show animal participants if they can borrow their animal for the Showman of Showmanship contest, Prohaska said.
Overall, Prohaska said there are slightly fewer animals this year, mostly due to high pig prices.
“Swine is the species that we usually have the most animals in, but they are down a little bit this year because of the (porcine epidemic diarrhea) virus going around,” she said.
“A lot of people who sell swine also raised their prices quite a bit because of it,” Prohaska said.
While the Showman of Showmanship winners will be awarded Friday morning, Friday night there are tractor and truck pulls at 6:30 p.m. in the grandstands, and Omer City Limits is scheduled to play in the pavilion Friday night, Sobieray said.
Farm and market animals will be joined by some exotic friends throughout the week this year, according to Sobieray.
“Another new thing we’re having this year is a petting zoo,” she said. “That’s going to be Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.”
Saturday is Kids Day at the fair starting at 11 a.m., and Saturday night the annual bump and run is scheduled in the arena for 6:30 p.m., Sobieray said. Point Blank is slated to play in the pavilion Saturday night.
Mud volleyball is also scheduled to be held Saturday starting at 9 a.m., and garden tractor pulls are being held at noon.
The fair runs from July 29 to Aug. 2, and the gates open at 10 a.m. daily, with rides starting at noon. For more information, contact the fair office at 989-846-4461.