ALCOLA – The Clarion County Fair is set to kick off its week-long run at Redbank Valley Municipal Park this Sunday, and organizers are still adding more events to an already packed lineup.
“The big new thing added to the schedule is a Sunday morning worship service at the grandstand, presented by the Leatherwood Church and featuring a unique gospel presentation by Charlie Wyant of Sermon on the ‘Mount’ Ministries,” Clarion County Fair president Josh Minich said on Monday, noting that the service will start at 9 a.m., kicking off a full day — and full week — of events at the fair. “The service will lead right in to the free Farmers & Merchants picnic presented by Zack’s Restaurant, and the softball game in the afternoon.”
After last year’s shortened four-day fair due to the pandemic, Minich said this year’s event is roaring back bigger and better than before.
“Everything is proceeding as a normal fair year,” he said of the full schedule, carnival rides, vendors and everything else fairgoers have come to love over the decades.
“There’s still time to get out there and get your discounted tickets for the fair,” Minich added, explaining that the $8 early-bird tickets can be purchased in New Bethlehem at A-Plus Mini Mart, First United National Bank and Tom’s Riverside, along with Palmer’s Country Store in Limestone, Mayport Gas, Knox Country Farm Supply, Tom’s Riverside in Rimersburg and Hetrick’s Farm Supply in Porter Township.
Fair Week runs Sunday, July 25 through Saturday, July 31, kicking off the week with a free admission day, with donations accepted for entry.
Sunday brings back the Pet Show at 4 p.m. and the Redbank Valley Church Association’s Festival of Music at the grandstand starting at 6 p.m.
The day also features the Car and Jeep Cruise-In from noon to 4 p.m., the fair’s first-ever Craft Show from noon to 6 p.m., the Farmers & Merchants Picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the softball game at 1 p.m.
“It’s a free picnic for everyone who attends,” Minich said, noting that the softball game is a fun event for spectators.
Minich said that one of the most welcome sights for fairgoers will be the return of Tropical Amusements’ carnival rides and midway, which will debut on Monday, July 26.
“Last year we weren’t able to have a carnival,” Minich said. “But this year, Tropical Amusements will be back with their carnival rides and midway.”
“We’re also bringing back daily Lions Club Bingo games,” he added, pointing out that Monday is also Military Appreciation Day at the Fair, with members of the armed forces gaining free entry to the Fair with military ID.
Monday night’s headline attraction is the KOI Drag Racing Show, which is new to the fair. The event will feature both professional and amateur racers, with the action starting at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, July 27 at the Fair, the Keystone Mini Mods and UTV Pull will return under the grandstand lights at 7 p.m.
“Bring those UTV’s out for bragging rights and trophies,” Minich said of the competition.
“Reminisce,” an oldies and Motown band, will make its return to the Clarion County Fair for a 7 p.m. show on Wednesday, July 28.
“They’re high adrenaline and extremely entertaining to watch,” Minich said.
The motor action returns on Thursday, July 29 with the first of two nights of Demo Dogs Demolition Derbies.
“We’re back into the devastation that the community enjoys with our Demo Derby,” Minich said, noting that there will be increased payouts for entries.
Thursday night’s derby features compact cars and begins at 7:30 p.m.
Friday is Senior Citizen Day at the Fair, offering free admission to seniors before 3 p.m. The day will feature the BHS Primary Care New Bethlehem Health Fair from 9 a.m. to noon, a Senior Citizen Lunch provided by Tom’s Riverside of New Bethlehem at noon, the Antique Tractor Show from noon to 5 p.m. and more.
The evening provides a double-dose of activities as the annual 4-H Livestock Sale takes place starting at 6:30 p.m., as well as the Antique and Truck and Tractor Pulls. The antique tractors will take to the grandstand field at 6 p.m., with truck and tractor pulls commencing at 7 p.m.
Fair Week wraps up on Saturday, July 31, with the return of the Mini and Full Size Draft Horse Pulls at 9 a.m., and the second night of Demo Derby action at 7 p.m. — with a lot of fun packed in between.
“We’ll be closing our night out at the grandstand with the Derby Dogs, a show that’s guaranteed to entertain,” Minich said. “And we’ll be offering special pit seating for those daring enough to be up close to the action.”
Daily shows this year include Johnny Rockett’s Cycle Circus Live, a high-flying stunt show that will perform Monday through Saturday.
Also on the schedule is magician and comedian John Cassidy with daily shows.
Fairgoers will also have a chance to try their luck at fishing, as First Bite Fishing Tanks makes its debut at the Clarion County Fair.
“We’re looking at some really nice shows,” Minich said of the packed lineup. “We’re expecting big turnouts, so come out and have a great time while you support the future of agriculture in our area, as well as the many local businesses and organizations who set up at the fair and sponsor the fair each year.”
The fairgrounds are located at Redbank Valley Municipal Park, off Route 28, just east of New Bethlehem. For all the details, visit www.clarioncountyfair.com.