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July 22, 2014 7:26 am

EDITORIAL: Park County Fair means fun with family and friends

Written by Ilene Olson

The summer is half over, three weeks of July have passed and the weather is heating up. In Powell, that means one thing: This is Park County Fair week.

While fair week might seem like small potatoes compared to celebrations in more populated areas, it offers something they can’t: Fun, entertainment and a good time while coming together as a community to celebrate achievements of the past year — all with your neighbors and friends.

Exhibits showcase a broad range of talents, from arts and crafts to wood-making projects; photography to homemade desserts and decorated cakes; needlework to canned fruits and vegetables; agriculture exhibits to welding.

Youth in 4-H and FFA, as well as farmers and ranchers, also will be exhibiting their livestock projects, large and small — everything from poultry and rabbits to pigs, sheep, goats, beef and dairy cows.

And, while fun at the fair might not always be clean — as evidenced by pig mud wrestling, Endurocross Challenge, Figure 8 racing and the Demolition Derby — it is wholesome and enjoyable, and most of it stars your friends and neighbors.

Grandstand entertainment begins at 7 p.m. today (Tuesday) with the traditional, often comical and always entertaining pig mud wrestling, in which teams ranging from youngsters to adults pit their wits and skills against pigs of corresponding size, all in a pen filled with very slimy mud.

Wednesday brings Knights of Valour, a new-to-the-fair act with an exciting show of full-contact jousting, horsemanship, bravery and chivalry. The show starts at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, Endurocross Challenge, also a new event, transforms the grandstand into a race arena. The competition begins at 6 p.m. Dirt bike and side-by-side drivers maneuver a course of sand, logs, mud, and random obstacles in action-packed races for trophies and prizes. While pre-registration is encouraged, entries will be accepted up until the event.

The popular Figure 8 races return to the grandstand Friday at 6 p.m.

It’s part demolition match, part race, with drivers jockeying for first place on a figure 8 track that intersects itself at the middle. Pre-registration is encouraged, but registrations will be accepted up until the event starts.

The always anticipated Demolition Derby serves as the grandstand finale. Drivers prepare their vehicles for days and weeks before the fair, then strategize as they pit their driving skills and their vehicles against other drivers and their machines. The last one standing — er, running — wins!

There isn’t a headline concert this year, as past concerts have lost money. But that doesn’t mean there’s no entertainment. Country music singer Charlie Jenkins, country performers Artie Hemphill & the Iron Horse Band, juggler Charles Peachock and hypnotist Chris Mabrey all are scheduled to perform on the free stage.

And, of course, there’s the carnival, which promises fun-filled motion — easy-going for little ones, or daring and exciting for those wishing for an adrenaline rush.

Add fair food — featuring favorites from local organizations as well as carnival goodies — to tempt the palate, booths to peruse and so much more, and the fair has something for just about everyone.

So come on out to the Park County Fair, a traditional part of summer in Powell. Spend some time with your neighbors, enjoy the exhibits and events. It won’t be back for another year.

See you there!

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