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Fans of loud music and screaming kids brace yourselves: the Himalaya is back.
Crews from Drew Exposition were setting up the crowd favorite, which has been missing in action for the past couple of years, on the Shelby County Fairgrounds on Monday.
It will join other carnival rides at the 147th Shelby County Fair, which opens Thursday and runs through June 27.
This is the second year of an expanded fair schedule, which has the truck and tractor pulls running through Saturday and most of the livestock and Floral Hall shows running next week. Jeff Hagerman, secretary/treasurer for the Shelby County A & M (fair board), which operates the fairgrounds, said board members felt the expanded schedule last year created fewer safety concerns and a more relaxed atmosphere for fair-goers.
“You didn't have the tractors and trailers from the truck pulls coming out and meeting livestock trailers,” Hagerman said. “There were fewer problems, and it was just easier for members of the board.”
Last year's fair was the third-largest in county fair history, with about 12,000 visitors over the 10-day run. Hagerman said last year's fair would have been the second largest if the Friday night’s tractor pull had not been canceled because of bad weather. The largest county fair attendance happened in 2007, with a gate of about 16,000, he said.
The truck and tractor pulls start at 7 p.m. Thursday and 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission to the grounds those first three days of the fair is $8 per person, free to children 10 years of age and under. Admission during the remainder of the fair is $5 per person.
Unlimited carnival rides are $18 per person, except on June 23 and June 25, from noon until 6 p.m., when they are $10 per person.
On Sunday, the fair is open only for the 4-H horse show; there will be no carnival rides or other events. The District Dairy show is the first of the livestock shows at the fairs, starting Thursday at 9 a.m. in the livestock pavilion. Open and youth dairy shows run through Saturday.
Livestock shows start again on Wednesday, with poultry and rabbit shows in the livestock pavilion. The Shelby County Fair Horse Show also opens Wednesday and runs through Saturday. The horse shows start at 7 p.m.
Exhibits in Floral Hall open to the public Monday at 7 p.m. and remain open until 8 p.m. June 25. New this year to Floral Hall will be a hatching exhibit, courtesy of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, with eggs supplied by local poultry breeders, and Kate the Cow, which shows children where their milk comes from.
Also new this year is a cornhole tournament sponsored by Shelby County Community Charities. The tournament starts at 2 p.m. June 27 in Floral Hall. Proceeds will go to the fairgrounds. Anyone interested can sign up for the tournament at the Shelby County Community Charities' booth, which will be set up on the grounds for the duration of the fair.
The county fair teen and queen pageants will be held Tuesday, with the formal attire portion of the contest starting at 6:30 p.m. The pageants are held in the horse show arena as long as the weather cooperates.
For the carnival schedule and full details of other events, you can pick up a fair book at the fairgrounds or at the Extension office, 1117 Frankfort Road.