BY DEAN HOCKNEY
Courtesy of the Kokomo Herald
GREENTOWN, Ind. – One of the largest local events of the year takes place each July in Greentown – the Howard County 4-H Fair. Since 1947, the fair has featured fun, livestock competitions, the crowning of the queen, entertainment and, of course, food. With nearly 145,000 attendees last year, it is one of the largest 4-H fairs in the state and will run from July 13-18 this year.
Once again, history returns to the Armfield-Moyers Round Barn during the Howard County Fair this month in a special exhibit called, “Lessons Through Time.” The Greentown, Russiaville and Howard County Historical Societies – in conjunction with sponsors Ron and Jean Simpson – will present a collection of images representing more than a hundred years of county schools and students.
Visitors will see photographs of schools that no longer exist, learn about some of the challenges facing students in years past, and see examples of how both have changed over the years. A highlight of the exhibit is a large reproduction of a map showing the location of many of the early, small schools scattered throughout the county’s townships. Another featured image is a panoramic photograph of the New London School and all its students from the early 1900’s.
The Round Barn is located near the northeast corner of the fairgrounds north of Pioneer Village. The barn was built in 1909 and is the last remaining round barn in Howard County. It was moved to the fairgrounds in 2011-12.
Also returning to the fair is the popular New Holland Agriculture Country Showdown. For any local country singer who has wanted a shot at fame and fortune, this is the event to enter. Contestants will go head to head competing for the local Howard County title. The local winner will travel on to the state competition ($1,000 prize to the state champ), and from there have the chance to advance to the regional and national levels ($100,000 national champion prize).
The 32nd Annual Country Showdown is America’s largest country music talent show. It’s designed to find the most promising country music talent in the nation and to give those performers a chance to launch their professional music careers. Each night at the Howard County 4H Fair, five performers will sing on stage, vying for a spot in the final night’s championship round.
Entertainment is also a highlight of the fair. On July 16, the popular mop-topped Beatles Remix band returns for one night while Phil Dirt and the Dozers perform on the CHRH South Grandstands the following night. On July 18, country duo Cooke and Belle will perform. The Bengal Tiger Encounter will be featured in the Pioneer Village while the KidBuck$ Game Show (4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. daily) and Granpa Cratchet (4, 6 and 8 p.m.) will entertain the kids each evening. Of course, the midway will be open daily to thrill those daring enough to climb aboard.
In a time honored tradition, reigning Miss Howard County Caitlyn O’Neal will crown a new queen on the South Grandstands stage during competitions to be held on July 13-14.
As always, 4-H is the center-point of the local fair, with dozens of local champions being crowned in competitions from livestock to entomology and fine arts to computer arts. Champions will have the opportunity to enter the Indiana State Fair competition next month. On July 16, the annual 4-H Livestock Auction will take place in the Show Arena at 5:30 p.m.
For those looking for farming attractions, there will be daily features, including an antique tractor parade at 6:30 p.m., wheat threshing demonstrations at 7:30 p.m. and sawmill demonstrations from 5-6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to closing.
There is also action at the Northwest Grandstand, also known as the race track. On July 13, the WPI-NTPA Tractor Pull will entertain the crowd, motocross racing will take place on July 15, the ITPA Truck Pull will hit the track on July 16 and a demolition derby will crunch cars on July 17.
And don’t forget to visit the Kokomo Herald at their booth in the indoor tennis center building. The Herald will be having a drawing for a chance to win tickets to Indiana Beach and Beef ‘N Boards. For more information on the Howard County 4-H Fair, visit www.howardcofair.com.