WATERFORD-The 2012 Waterford Community Fair wrapped up with a roar Sunday night as more than 65 machines tugged their way through the annual truck and tractor pull.
And on Saturday another fair highlight-the market hog sale-earned more than $146,000 for local 4-H Club and FFA members.
Fair officials estimated this year's attendance would easily outpace the more than 5,000 who attended the three-day event in 2011.
Roaring and belching black smoke, a modified tractor attempts to drag the 40,000-pound Mighty Mac Pulling Sled down the course during Sunday’s annual truck and tractor pull at the 2012 Waterford Community Fair.
The Marietta Times
"It's basically just a great community get-together. No one wants to travel far with the current gas prices, so this is entertainment that's close to home. And there's always a big turnout," said Dave Dilliland of Waterford.
Nearby Delbert Lasure of Reno joined a crowd of several hundred spectators watching Sunday's truck and tractor pull.
"I like both the trucks and the tractors," he said. "But years ago they used to have tractors with jet engines in them-I wish they'd bring those back again."
Driver Steve Hinkle of Circleville might have been able to purchase a jet engine for the amount he's put into the big block Chevy pickup truck he entered in Sunday's pull.
"I have at least $18,000 in this truck's engine," he said, noting the $150 prize money for winning his class during the Waterford Fair event wouldn't begin to cover his expenses.
So why does he try to tow a Mighty Mac Pulling Sled weighing thousands of pounds with his pickup truck?
"It's about the power-I guess it's just a guy thing," Hinkle said. "I've been doing this for 27 years."
Ken Simpson of Lottridge bought his Oliver 880 diesel tractor brand new, right out of high school 30 years ago.
"I haven't been in a tractor pull with it for about 13 years now," he said. "But it's a lot of fun, and I guess I just do it for the bragging rights."
Simpson said his seven-year-old grandson, Bo, and 15-year-old grandson, Austin, are carrying on the family tradition as both are already participating in pulls with garden tractors.
"I figure if they're fooling around with these things, they're not likely to get into drugs or some other kind of trouble," he said.
Earlier that afternoon, on the opposite side of the fairgrounds, Clayton Campbell, 13, and his 17-year-old sister, Cassie, talked about another main event during this year's Waterford Community Fair-the annual hog sale.
The siblings raised two of the 160 pigs sold during Saturday's hog auction. Clayton's animal weighed 261 pounds and brought $3.60 per pound, while Cassie's hog weighed 269 pounds and earned $3.25 a pound.
"We put the money we earn together and split it evenly every year for our college fund-that's what our dad (Chris) and his brother did when they were young," Cassie explained, noting she plans to become a neonatal nurse.
Clayton has a few years of school left, but said he may go into engineering after he graduates from Waterford High.
The Campbells agree that raising hogs for the fair may not be the most glamorous project, but they've learned a lot from the experience.
"We pick the pigs we're going to raise out of our grandfather's hog farm every year in May," Clayton said. "They're weaned and weigh about 40 to 45 pounds."
Cassie said they each pick out two animals-one for a spare.
"That's in case one of the hogs doesn't make the weight class, or gets sick," she said. "The weight limit is 220 to 280 pounds."
Cassie noted one of her pigs only weighed 208 pounds this year, but the "spare" qualified with 269 pounds.
Clayton said the pigs are kept in a concrete-floored pen with a sheltered area to get out of the hot sun or inclement weather.
"There's also a sprinkler system to help keep them cool-hogs don't sweat, so they need the water," he said. "They can lose weight if they're too hot, because they may not eat."
Cassie said one of the first things anyone raising hogs must do is to make friends with the animals.
"We walk them every day, so you have to get them used to you or they'll run away," she said.
When fair time rolls around and it's showtime, the Campbells know what the judges are looking for.
"They want the hogs to be long with nice hams (rear-end loins)-and the judges want to see all sides of the pigs," Clayton said.
Cassie added that the judges also look at how the contestants handle their pigs while walking them in the show ring.
During Saturday's sale, Cassie's pig was purchased by Al Huck Welding and Repair for $874.25, and Clayton's hog was bought by Canterbury Electric, LLC, for $939.60.
Both of the Campbells say it's worth the work, and plan to raise hogs again next year.
The 160 hogs sold during this year's fair brought a total of $146,443-averaging $3.61 a pound. The grand champion, raised by Tanner Pottmeyer of Fleming, earned $8.10 per pound, and $8 a pound was paid for the reserve champion, raised by Molly Ketchum of Marietta.