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The 148th edition of the Shelby County Fair may look a little different, but it’s all still there.
The fair opens Thursday and wraps on June 26, and though the schedule has changed somewhat, the fair is growing to meet the expanded wants and needs of the county.
“We’ve made some pretty big changes this year, especially when it comes to the young kids pageants,” said Beth Snyder, the fair’s executive secretary. “Those [the baby show and Tiny Tot’s pageants] have always been on the final Friday, but we’ve moved them up to the first Friday [June 18, this year].”
The main reason for that change is to keep Floral Hall open for a longer stretch.
“We have a lot of talent in this county, and we want to be able to showcase it,” said Lucy Long, the director in charge of Floral Hall. “That’s why we want to be able to keep Floral Hall open longer.
“Each county fair is a stepping stone to the State Fair, so we want people to see our winners that will move on.”
That means Floral Hall will remain open for two additional days, closing on Thursday, June 24.
Another big change this year is the addition of a rodeo on June 25-26.
To help accommodate this change, the tractor pulls have been moved to the beginning of the fair, running June 17-22, and the rodeo will be in the back part of the grounds, where they host the tractor pulls.
The pedal tractor pull has also been moved to the fair’s opening night, June 17, to coincide with the other tractor-pull events.
The Shelby County Fair and 4-H horse shows will remain in the main ring at the front.
“One of the main reasons we wanted to move the tractor pull was because it and the horse show both bring so many trailers in that it was getting very crowded,” Long said. “This way there will be more room for each event’s trailers, and we’ve been able to provide a rodeo, which is something new for the fair.”
The rodeo is produced by Lone Star Rodeo Company out of Crofton, This family-run company has been in business for 33 years and works more than 40 events annually, from Maryland to Alabama. Its rodeos include bronco riding, roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and Brahma bull riding.
Admission to the rodeo is included with fair admission, which is $10 on the two nights of the rodeo.
“It normally cost about $20 to see the rodeo, when they travel without a fair,” Snider said. “So we feel like that’s going to be a nice addition that people are going to enjoy.”
Most of the other events will remain on the same schedule as past years.
“We’re trying to do some different things so we can reach a broader and more diverse audience,” Snider said.
For a little history and idea of what the fair has to offer, stop by the library to see its exhibit.
“We have a display cabinet at the library that is decorated with photos, trophies and items that you can see at the fair,” Snyder said. “We wanted to show people what’s going on at the fair because people miss a lot of things.”
The display will be up through first part of July.