The food, rides, and events of the Butler County Fair are coming back to Hamilton for the 169th year.
Families and friends can head to 1715 Fairgrove Ave. starting July 21 to take in the fair’s classic events such as the rodeo and tractor pull, while also witnessing the new Monster Truck ride-event.
Here are five of the most exciting features for fair-goers:
169 years and counting
“Preserve the past” is part of the fair’s motto this year, as it is celebrating its 169th anniversary. The Butler County Fair has been in operation since 1851, when it was held Oct. 2 and 3 near the Miami-Erie Canal, north of Hamilton.
Displays included horse, cattle, pigs, and others. A fair was held by the Butler County Agricultural Society in 1836 outside the courthouse in Hamilton, prior to reorganization under state law in 1851. The fair has been held at the same location since 1856.
In the years since, the fair has added a race track, barns for hogs and cattle and grandstand. The original grandstand burned down in 1913 and was rebuilt in 1920.
There are monster trucks
For the first time, the fair will include monster trucks. Trucks are available to drive starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. The show costs $10 per adult and $3 per child between the ages of six and 12.
After years of discussion, Doug Turner, entering his fifth year as fair president, said the idea was finally prepared at the Ohio Fair Managers Association Convention this January.
The rodeo is back
The rodeo has been a long fixture of the Butler County Fair, but it’s only the second-year that Broken Horn Rodeo has been in-charge. On July 24 at 7 p.m., the show will begin in the Grandstand, costing adults $8 and children $3.
Jim McElroy, co-owner of the rodeo with his wife, Sandy, said that this year’s rodeo will include the seven traditional events of rodeo competitions: tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing. McElroy said that last year attracted between 160 and 180 participants. Call-in entries must be done on July 15 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Enjoy the tastes of homemade beers and wines
Local brewers are encouraged to participate in the fair’s Homemade Wine and Beer Competition at 2 p.m. on July 26. For a $2 entry fee, competitors can earn $10 for first place in their category, $8 for second, or $6 for third.
There are three classes for both craft beers and homemade wines, where contestants can only add one drink to each class. The drinks are judged on such things as appearance, aroma, and taste. Beers must be in glass bottles, ranging from seven to 32 ounces with a crown cap, while wine bottles must be labeled by its year.
High-flying action of the Cincinnati Circus
Concluding the fair’s events on Saturday, July 27 is the Cincinnati Circus, which is returning for its third year. The hour-long show will include flying trapeze, aerial acrobatics, fire performances, a bed of nails, and more.
The circus will begin at 7 p.m. and audience members will be able to meet the performers after the show. There is no additional charge besides general admission.
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