Three Ring – 4-H and Utopia Fair is Coming to Town

by Pat Moynahan on May 9, 2017

Related imageNo need to lament the closing of the Ringling Brothers circus this month. The Boone County 4-H and Utopia Fair is coming Aug. 7-12 with a daily three-ring spectacle of its own.

“We’ve got a horse show every night, a motor sports event every night and a carnival every night,” said Sandra Cupps, a member of the fair board.

Cupps presented a rundown on plans for the 85th edition of the Boone County fair at the Florence Rotary Club meeting on May 1. She said the fair continues to prosper because of the lineup of events, community support in the form of booths, and participation of 4-H Club members and volunteers.

Truck and tractor pulls are coming back this year in response to popular demand. The purse for the demolition derby on the final Saturday has jumped to $2,000 and the fender-banging will feature three entries from the Boone County sheriff’s office and three from local firefighters. And, the daily horse shows likely will draw championship-quality competition.

“People from all over the country will be coming to Boone County to get ready for the World’s Championship Horse Show in Louisville the following week,” Cupps said.

More than 80 booths will be set up on the grounds by local organizations this year, according to Cupps, and the fair board will sponsor a kitchen offering everything from peanut butter to fish sandwiches. The fair board also will give out $42,000 in premium checks to winners of the various agricultural and livestock competitions.

The fair began in 1932 in connection with the University of Kentucky Extension Service program. More than 7,000 area young people are involved in 4-H, and the fair gives them an opportunity to display their handiwork, produce or livestock, Cupps noted.

One of the highlights of the fair is the sale of championships, an auction of the winners of the agricultural exhibits and livestock shows.

“We have the kinds of activities that are family friendly,” Cupps said, “the kinds of activities that you can bring your children and your grandchildren to … for just $10.”

The fair board is “open to doing different things,” she added. For example, the fair staged a Pokemon game last year and plans a LEGO competition this year.

However, the 4-H activities continue to be the biggest draw. The fair board expects more than 1,800 contest entries this year. That’s the story Cupps tells “people all over the state who call to ask how we keep people coming,” she noted.

“4-H is still the backbone of the fair,” Cupps said. “It makes the fair what it is.”