Kelli Savage turns into a juggler this time of year.
It’s harvest time on the farm, but it’s also time for Marion County Fair preparations to get in full swing. Fortunately, fair manager Savage has help.
Savage said the fair association board has been maintaing and improving the Hillsboro facilities. That includes anything from replacing boards in bleachers to checking lighting in buildings and arenas.
“We have a lot of projects going on at one time,” she said. “We have a huge list of things that we do.”
The biggest project was remodeling the kitchen in the foods building. Several board members have been doing the work, and Savage said they hope to be finished before the fair starts July 22.
“They’re great,” Savage said. “We have such a wide variety of talent on our board; it amazes me.”
Last year’s fair had a new wrinkle, Saturday Family Fun Day, that used the morning parade as a kickoff to an afternoon of family-oriented activities.
“It was the first time the parade had been scheduled there for numerous years, and we had better turnout for that,” Savage said. “We had really great turnout with our activities on the fairgrounds following the parade. We’re doing the same type of things this year.”
Two events highlight the countywide nature of the fair, Savage said. Lincolnville Fire Department will take over doing the “wet and wild” water slide, and the celebrity goat-milking contest attracts teams from all over the county.
“The celebrity goat milking event was a huge hit last year,” she said.
Inflatable play structures, mechanical bull rides, turtle races, and dodge ball are some of the other activities leading up to the fair finale, the demolition derby.
There’s no carnival this year because of a scheduling conflict, Savage said, but extensive exhibitions and activities will provide plenty of entertainment.
“It’s a great time and a great value right here at home that involves everybody in the county,” she said. “You can see everything you want to see and it hardly costs you a dime. Where can you go where people don’t charge you a gate fee or a parking fee?”
The fair will be July 22 to July 25 at the fairgrounds in Hillsboro.