A quilt with derby cars, oxygen tank, ferris wheel, and ride in different colored squares

It’s Time for the County Fair

Last updated: July 2023

It’s Tuesday, June 20th, 2023, which means one thing: it’s time for the 164th Annual Henry County Fair! It also means that it is hot and humid, and there will most likely be a storm or two.

It never fails that it is like a sauna every year for the fair week. We know how hard that can be for those of us with COPD.

Memorable days at the fair

My parents would take us to ride the rides, and then we would watch the demolition derby, which my dad and many uncles and cousins participated in. We made a whole day of it.

I loved cheering for my dad and watching those cars crash. My dad, like the rest of our family, always put on a show. I loved every minute of it.

We had many thunderstorms and even tornados over the years that we encountered, and I remember one particular year when my dad was driving us home from a long day at the fair, and there was a bad storm. I was terrified, but my dad calmed my fears and reminded me that he could drive in any condition.

He always knew how to help me to feel better. Back in those days, we lived about 10 miles from the fairgrounds, but for the last 14 years, we have lived in the same town as the county fair, which is the town that my husband grew up in, and he has many, wonderful memories of the fair himself.

The weekly lineup

We could walk to the fair if it wasn’t for the heat and my COPD. It gets so humid that it takes my breath away at times.

Tuesday starts the fair with the livestock and judging of the exhibit hall entries. Tuesday nights, they always hold the pageant to crown the Queen, Miss, and Little Miss Henry County Fair.

On Wednesday, they have harness racing and continue the livestock shows and Family Day with plenty of entertainment with family games, including the chicken scramble, pig scramble, frog hop contest, and much more, with armbands for unlimited carnival rides.

Thursday will continue with livestock and the truck and tractor pull. Friday is the night that they will have their concert with Jerrod Niemann, with the opening act of Drew Baldridge.

Saturday will be the good, old demolition derby with a kids' power wheel to start the show, and my granddaughter will sing the national anthem to start it all off. Sunday will be the closing day with motorcycle races, and all week they have great carnival rides going on.

Generations of traditions

Over the years, my family has kept up with family traditions. My husband, son, daughter, son-in-law, and many cousins, brothers, and even I have continued the tradition of driving in the demolition derby and other events at the fair.

This year my only remaining uncle on my dad's side will drive in the derby on Saturday night at the age of 76. Every time my uncle drives, he says this is the last one. He has said that for years.

His grandson will also drive and is another 3rd generation of drivers, just like my family. My oldest son will also drive. It scares me every time someone I know gets in one of those cars, but it is what they love.

All of my grandkids love it too, and I am sure they will make it a 4th generation tradition when they get old enough. I don’t go to the fair as often as I used to now that I have COPD, but I can’t miss watching the guys drive in the derby.

I am careful and take precautions. I wear a mask if the smells linger, and I get golf cart rides around the track. It’s just too hot and humid to be walking for long out there.

I also stay hydrated and am sure to do a breathing treatment before I go out. I also make sure I have plenty of batteries or tanks for my oxygen needs as well.

Our town is a small rural town in a rural county, so our fairs aren’t as big as others, but they are just as fun.

Did you go to the county or state fairs growing up? Do you have any family traditions? Please share in the comments below or even share a story in the comments.

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