WATERFORD - Local fair season has kicked off with the start of the Waterford Fair.
Though events officially begin today, several people participated in hog weigh-ins and an informal dance and pizza party Wednesday night at the fairgrounds. The gates open at 4 p.m. today for more festivities, which continue through Sunday.
The Waterford Fair is best known for its hog show and sale and this year will be no exception. Hog weigh-ins continue today and Community Fair Board president Dennis Martin estimates they'll exhibit about 150 pigs this year. Because multiple cases of swine flu have been reported from fairs around the state, local company Jani Source is donating a veterinary disinfectant to the fair. Parvo scrub, which will be diluted and sprayed on the ground in animal areas, is useful in preventing the spread of swine flu, said Jani Source representative Karen Hinton.
JASMINE ROGERS The Marietta Times
Austin Bauerbach, 17, of Waterford, waits to unload his hogs during Wednesday night’s weigh-ins at the Waterford Fair.
Today's fair events include a baby contest, sponsored by the Waterford High School Cheerleaders, starting at 5 p.m.. Children can be registered up until the contest begins, said event organizer and Waterford cheerleading coach Jackie McCutcheon.
One boy and one girl will be crowned in both the Beautiful Baby class for ages birth to 1 and in the Prince and Princess class for ages 2 and 3.
The final class for ages 4 to 6 will crown a King and a Queen as well as Mr. and Miss Waterford. Mr. And Miss Waterford have the honor of carrying the crowns across the field during Waterford High School's homecoming, said McCutcheon.
Gates open at 4 p.m.
Baby Contest at 5 p.m.
Tractor Tug Pull and Garden Tractor Pull at 6 p.m.
Fair Parade at 6 p.m.
Karaoke Contest at 8 p.m.
Motorcycle & ATV Rodeo at 8:30 p.m.
Children's Games at 9 a.m.
Hog Sale at 4:30 p.m.
Fun Horse Show at 10 a.m.
Pedal Tractor Pull at 1 p.m.
Ladies Redneck Rodeo at 1:30 p.m.
Truck and Tractor Pull at 5 p.m.
For a full schedule: http://www.waterfordfair.com/
Prizes and trophies will be given to the winners and as part of drawings throughout the event.
Registration is $10 and those participating should be checked in by 4:45 p.m.
On Friday, the Waterford Fair Parade starts at 6 p.m., forming at Fort Frye High School in Beverly and winding its way into the Community Fairgrounds in Waterford.
Friday night is also the Motorcycle & ATV Rodeo. Both youth and adult classes will participate in cloverleaf and pick up races. And while he can't promise it will happen, Martin said something new might be in store for the event this year.
"If we have time we're gonna have a catalog race," said Martin.
In a catalog race, contestants would draw a number, race to the end of the track, tear the corresponding page number out of a catalog, and race back with it.
"It's a lot of fun because someone might go down there and count to page 10 and rip it out, but they don't know someone has already taken a page in front of them," explained Martin.
Friday night also features a karaoke contest at 8 p.m. with $100 prize for first place in each of the three competing divisions.
Children should bring their bikes and tricycles on Saturday for the Children's Games at 9 a.m. Youth can participate in several Bicycle Rodeo events, including the potato race.
The potato race, in which contestants race around a potato placed at the far end of the track, got its name several years ago when the fair board couldn't find anything to use as a marker.
"We didn't have a ball so we went and grabbed a potato out of the exhibition booth," Martin said.
The name stuck and the fair has used a potato every year since.
Also on Saturday, tractor speed pulls begin at noon and continue throughout the day, breaking at 4:30 p.m. for the hog sale.
Sunday's Fun Horse Show features classic events, such as maneuvering cones and barrels, as well as some unexpected quirky events. One such event is the egg toss which consists of two-person teams, tossing an egg back and forth while backing away from each other, all while on horseback.
The event starts at 10 a.m. and Martin encourages everyone to participate.
"Even if you don't have a horse, come down and say you want to participate and someone will let you use their horse," said Martin.
The Ladies' Redneck Rodeo and the Pedal Tractor Pull are other popular Sunday events.
Fair board member Doug McCutcheon said the Waterford Fair wouldn't be possible without such a supportive community.
"The community really steps up and gets involved, and every year it just falls into place," said McCutcheon.
One way in which the community makes the fair possible is by donating space for parking which is very scarce at the Community Fairgrounds.
"We are so grateful for our friends and neighbors that donate and let us park on their property," said Martin.
For Martin, the fair is a way of giving something back to the community, especially local youth. Of the three local fairs, the Waterford Fair is the only one which typically takes place before school starts.
Visit the Waterford Fair website at www.waterfordfair.com/ for more information.