Since 1853, the Henry County Fair in Napoleon, Ohio has attracted out-of-town visitors, and through the turmoil of the lives of today’s teenagers, it continues to be a mainstay showcase for the talents of Henry County youth.
Difficult weather in the way of extreme heat may have kept bigger crowds from attending the first three days of the 157th Henry County Fair, but the break on Monday may have made a difference, as gate receipts totaled $8,640, or $5,155 more than Monday’s take in 2009.
Monday’s ride receipts came to $10,762. That amounted to $6,684 more than 2009’s Monday in ride fares.
4-H Code Rules Henry County Fair
The fair in Henry County is not just about daring rides and the Demolition Derby on closing night, the Tomato Festival Pageant on opening Sunday, or the grandstand entertainment and harness racing and tractor competitions held between those popular events.
The Henry County Fair, like others in surrounding counties, is about area youth learning the 4-H code of Head, Heart, Hands, and Health and putting that credo to positive use. Those are some important H-words that allow youth to display their knowlege, talents, and creativity in all four phases at the Junior Fair exhibitions.
Youth work with animals, the environment, floral and gardening displays, livestock and other farm products, art- and needlework, photography, baked and canned goods, as well as other organizational skills. As the 2010 fair theme suggested, they “Sew It, Grow It, Show It”. Their year-round dedication and participation is central to the fair’s success.
Showman of Showmen and Cheerleading Contest
By the second to last day of the seven-day fair, a youth Showman of Showmen is chosen to recognize the work put in by the youth showing their products in the Junior Fair. This season’s top show person was Kaitlyn Schrock.
In a cheerleading contest held in front of a grandstand crowd on Tuesday afternoon, the Napoleon High School group was chosen Large Varsity champion, while neighboring Holgate High School produced the Small Varsity champion, and consolidated Patrick Henry High School was voted the Spirit Award.
Tomato Festival Pageant Court Chosen
Chosen to reign as King and Queen of the 157th Henry County Fair were Dylan Tietje and Kathy Suber. Also chosen to hold court were first (Queen) runner-up Jessie Flory, second runner-up Emily Bodenbender, third runner-up Erin Brubaker, and Miss Congeniality Mallori Majewski.
Miss Suber represented Bartlow Township of Henry County.
Harness Racing at Henry County Fair
Area Standardbreds and many from Michigan and other surrounding states converged on Monday and Tuesday nights at the fair to entertain the grandstand-goers who are always permitted pari-mutuel betting.
Ninety-two-year-old trainer/driver H.D. Schoonover took Beauty Chip to the winner’s circle in the first race Monday evening. Sired by 2002 Hambletonian winner Chip Chip Hooray, Beauty Chip’s dam is Striking Beauty, by Striking Sahbra, and she is owned by Schoonover and Sandra Sue Schoonover of Findlay, and Sharon K. Wyant, also of Findlay.
Beauty Chip, a bay, won a $3,960 three-year-old filly trot.
New to the harness racing this year were four Trotting Bred races for smaller horses going one half mile on Tuesday night.
Appropriately named Score Card, from Quincy, Michigan, owned by Junior A. Cole, won the first race of the night in regular Standardbred competition. A bay colt sired by Victory Sam–Mrs. Jane, by Stoneking, Score Card scored in a $3,380 race for two-year-old colt trotters.
Entertainmentat The Grandstand
Flynnville Train presented their muscial best at the grandstand, which is always available without charge, on Friday night. The group says they caught their break when Curt Motley at Monterey Peninsula Artists passed their tape to established country star Toby Keith, who asked for more information on the group.
Josh Thompson is a Cedarburg, Wisconsin native who began writing and singing after working with his father as a concrete pouring assistant at age 12. He lived in Nashville in 2005, and continues to write and perform music created from his working-man experiences.
Saturday night’s feature was the annual OSTPA tractor pulling contest, while Thursday evening’s yearly Demolition Derby ended the 157th edition of the Henry County Fair.