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By Sherri Coner

Got a hankering for a fresh, messy elephant ear?

Your wait is nearly over.

Opening day is July 16 for the Johnson County 4-H & Agricultural Fair.

This full week of history-making fun started more than 180 years ago and includes cooking demonstrations, home economics displays, lots of food tents with seating, lemon shake-ups and cotton candy. Don’t forget the Hillbilly hotdogs, truck pulls, demo derby two nights in a row, musical entertainment and so much more.

Like every other year, fair officials have worked diligently to provide something for everyone in the county to enjoy, said Shalee Bradley of Trafalgar, a first-year fair board member.

Here are a few highlights for 2023’s fair fun:

Sunday, July 16

9 a.m.: Every day, NorseWoodsmen wood carvers share their amazing talents. Stop by to watch! You might awaken your own inner woodworker.

1 p.m.: Don’t miss the parade of pets, where the critters (and the kids!) have occasional listening problems. Registration begins at noon in the indoor arena.

1 p.m.: Throw some axes with award-winning members of Johnson County Axe Throwing (Northeast corner of Herring).

1 p.m.: Black and White Market opens (East end of Herring Hall).

“It’s all cash and carry,” Bradley said of this new event. “Everything is grown or processed in Indiana. Things like soap and honey will be for sale.”

3 p.m.: Little Miss and Mr. Johnson County Contest in the indoor arena

7 p.m.: Flat Drags in the grandstands

7 p.m.: Miss Johnson County Fair Queen Contest in the indoor arena

Monday, July 17

5 p.m.: The Midway opens

6 to 11 p.m.: Moonlight Madness officially begins. Buy an unlimited ride bracelet for $30.

7 p.m.: Indiana’s very popular Blue River Band performs (behind the Farm Bureau building).

7 p.m.: Join us in the grandstands to watch Micro Wrestling Federation, hailing all the way from Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Blue River Band, pictured at DriveHubler.com Amphitheater at Youngs Creek in Franklin, performs at 7p.m. July 17 behind the Farm Bureau building. (Submitted photos)

Tuesday, July 18

3 to 9 p.m.: A mobile glass blowing studio demonstrates the magic of mixing glass with fire.

7 p.m.: Sprint Kart Nationals Showdown (in the grandstands).

Wednesday, July 19

Another important day in the livestock barns for 4-H kids and their families.

After participating for 10 years in 4-H herself, Bradley has an understandable soft spot for all the hard-working, dedicated kids with animals in the barns. Their competitive showcases of cattle, hogs, sheep and goats are scheduled all week.

7 p.m.: Watermelon seed spitting contest

7 p.m.: Truck & Tractor Pull in the grandstands

Thursday, July 20

6 p.m.: Moonlight Madness on the Midway. Purchase an unlimited ride bracelet for $30.

7 p.m.: Farmer’s Olympics (north end of the indoor arena).

7 p.m.: Straw Scramble (kids ages 3 to 10; four age groups).

7 p.m.: Full-Throttle Monster Truck Show (grandstands).

Friday, July 21

6 to 11 p.m.: Weekend Midway Madness. Buy an unlimited ride bracelet for $35.

7 p.m.: Demolition Derby in the grandstands

Saturday, July 22

1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Quack Pack Sheep Dog Demonstration. This is yet another new event for the fair, Bradley said. “They’ll show border collies herding ducks. It’s really cute.”

7 p.m.: Demolition Derby in the grandstands

Fireworks display after dark.

When you and your kids need a break from the Midway and lots of walking, seek out 2023’s Family Fun Zone, located east of Fitzpatrick Hall (Opens on Sunday). All kids, especially toddlers and early elementary school-aged children, can play in a safe environment while parents and grandparents rest.

Back by popular demand, it’s the fun stuff of Barnyard Party Pals. You might expect to see a calf and a couple of goats. But in this funny barnyard, porcupines might show up. You might spot a parade of ducks waddling across the barnyard and all of a sudden, there’s a camel, too. Stop by and see how many different animals are in this silly barnyard.

When the human has done a great job with the livestock, it definitely shows. The 4-H participant has great control of the animal.

Recognizing 10-year 4-H members in Johnson County

4‑H is America’s largest youth development organization in which kids build life skills by leading hands-on projects in areas like science, health, agriculture and, civic engagement. Involvement in the 4-H for 10 years takes a lot of time, commitment and a passion for the program. Recognized as a 10-year member for at the Johnson County Fair this year is:

Chanze Arthur

Beau Baker

Lyla Blackwell

Madison Brandon

Logan Britt

Noelle Bryan

Ella Burgett

Jasper Carter

Joshua Case

Amsi Cory

Dylan Day

Madyson Dearth

Lea Denney

Kara Dougherty

Logan Duke

Elizabeth Elliott

Levi Farmer

Daniel Foster

Wyatt Fulkerson

Grace Gagne

Daniel Gollahon

Samuel Graves

Jackson Henry

Elijah Hitz

Grace Ison

Riley Johnson

Zoey Lawson

Mallory Luse

Madison Malott

Mason McCann

Grace McCarty

Rachel McDonald

Gweneal Metzler

Lily Miles

Karlee Monday

Abby Mullis

Ethan Myers

Mila Owens

Nathan Owens

Olivia Perry

Alexander Roepke

Tyler Rumble

Benjamin Salyers

Seth Sanders

Morgan Sandrock

Trevor Sichting

Ethan Spiegel

Skylar Stewart

Eran Treibic

Ethan Winnett

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