Fifteen rides provided by a new company and a talent contest offering $3,000 in prize money will be new attractions at the 2019 Highland County Fair that runs Sept. 1-7 in Hillsboro.
After a different company failed to properly provide rides a year ago, fair officials decided to go with a different company, Premium Shows of America, this year.
“We’d like to let people know we have new and different rides this year, and ask them to please not judge us on last year,” Tom Oglesby, the fair’s executive secretary, said. “This guy has been real easy to work with and real cooperative.”
Oglesby said there will also be live pony rides, six to seven midway games, a couple new food vendors and four clothing boutiques.
Also new to the fair will be a talent contest with a grand prize of $1,000, and runner-up awards of $800, $600, $400 and $200.
The contest is open to anyone of any age. There will be a first round of competition Friday starting at 7 p.m. and the finals will be held Saturday starting at 6 p.m. Entry forms are available on the fair’s website.
“It’s mostly for singing acts, but they could also play an instrument or be a dance coordinated act. We think it’s a good opportunity for anyone interested,” Fair Board President Mark Baldwin said.
Admission to the fair remains the same — $10 for a daily pass that includes rides, and $30 for a season pass. Kids under 3 years old get in free and there is no fee for parking. An all-day ride ticket for Junior Fair pass holders is $6.
Rides open at 1 p.m. each day.
The main entrance remains the green gate off Fairground Road and across from the primary parking areas. Baldwin said those walking to the fair can also enter the grounds through the blue gate off John Street, but most of the other gates are designed for those with livestock and/or fair passes.
Baldwin said the fair’s main attractions remain tractor and truck pulls, ATV and motocross races, and the demolition derby. He said autocross returns to the fair for the second year at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and that while most things remain the same, there are a few changes.
Since the first Saturday of the fair has been dropped this year, the fair queen contest (there were no king entrants this year) has been moved to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Multipurpose Show Arena.
There will be tractor and/or truck pulls at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday, and 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Some of the other major attractions include a rodeo at 4 p.m. Sunday, motocross races at 11:30 a.m. Monday followed by ATV races at 5 p.m., a demolition derby at 7 p.m. Wednesday, musical entertainment by Patrick Roush at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Lindsay Huggins and Jim Dooley at 8 p.m. Thursday, and a cheerleading competition at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Livestock sales begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday with the hog sale. The rabbit and chicken sales begin at noon Thursday, and the goat, steer, feeder calf, lamb and dairy sales begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
The weather forecast for the week looks favorable so far.
“We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the fair,” Baldwin said. “A lot of the purpose of the fair is to promote youth and agriculture, but the fair is for everybody, and we’re doing our best to make it fun for everybody.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.