Fair around corner


The 2023 Highland County Fair is less than two weeks away and will begin on Sunday, Sept. 3, at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony and end on Saturday, Sept. 9, with a tractor pull.

Ashley Watson, executive secretary of the Highland County Fair Board, said that this year’s version of the fair will bring multiple new aspects.

Watson said one of those things is the new Highland District Hospital Livestock Building. She said it’s a “beautiful” open-air building.

“The craftsmanship that they’ve done in this barn is beyond anything that we could have imagined and it is going to serve the community in a way that we are so excited for… It’s really nice for the community to have something that’s brand new and squeaky clean so to speak, and top of the line,” Watson said. “We’re having these big fans installed in the ceiling and these shade curtains that are being brought in to hopefully keep out some of the little bit of the heat. And I think that it’s just something that fairgoers and Highland County in general can be really proud of and be able to show off to fellow fairgoers.”

She also said that one of the good things about the new building is it will streamline events a bit more instead of some of the events happening in three separate buildings.

Watson said that a dedication ceremony for the new building will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. She said the event will be open to the public and that she hopes for “a lot of people” to be in attendance.

Watson said there will also be some new events this year such as the Tug-A-Truck event. She said it will replace one of the nights of the derby on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m.

Another new event will be a two-day cornhole tournament that will take place on Friday, Sept. 8, at p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 9, at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. She said that she knows cornhole is “really big” in the area, there are a lot of great players in the area and thinks that the community will “love it.” She said this event is replacing the talent show in the Multipurpose Building.

She said a third new event for this year is on the Jr. Fair side and that is where people have now been approved to show llamas and alpacas, which will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 8 a.m.

Watson said the last new event that she could think of was a Pig and Calf Scramble on Friday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m. Watson said she knows that surrounding counties have done this kind of event before, but this is the first time Highland County.

Watson said that she would assume that the fair means the same thing to the community as it does to her.

“To me, it is two words: home and family,” she said. “So I grew up coming to the fair. My family was always on the board, the fair board, the secretary, they were always in charge. So as a kid coming up here, it’s just home. It’s just where my family is. You know, it’s a big staple here in Hillsboro, Highland County. It’s something that I think a lot of people look forward to because that’s where all of their friends are. That’s where all their people are. It’s where they know they’re making memories and I think that’s something that’s just really important to people, especially now when things are kind of crazy and after COVID we needed it even more, just a sense of community.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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