The Whitley County Fair returned last week after a one-year absence with a new fair board and some new events.
Considering that this was pretty much a rebuilding year for the fair, I thought it went really well.
Friday night’s mud bog probably drew hundreds of people for some clean, yet muddy fun.
For those that don’t know, a mud bog is where a four-wheeler or some other four-wheel drive vehicle drives through a mud filled pit with the fastest driver winning.
In the case of some mud bogs, this actually turns into who can make it the furthest without getting stuck in the pit and having to be pulled out, which from a spectator standpoint isn’t much fun to watch.
The fair board took the right approach here with pits that drivers could get through that weren’t too tough, but still provided lots of mud spewing action.
The skeet shooting competition is a really nice addition to the fair. Organizers Andy Croley and Tim Croley even got me out on the course to try my hand at it.
While I learned that I am much better at shooting things with a camera than I am a shotgun, I still found it interesting.
The neat thing about having a skeet shoot at the fair is that it isn’t something I have seen at most other fairs or festivals, which makes it very unique. It is something that could really become a signature piece of the fair in future years.
The cornhole tournament, antique tractor show and pedal tractor race for the kids also had what I thought were good crowds for this rebuilding year.
I didn’t stay long for the horse show late Saturday afternoon but considering that it was starting to rain, I thought they had a good crowd and more people were coming in as I left, which was a good sign.
This year’s rebooted fair was a really good start, and I hope it is something that the fair board will try and build upon next year.
The fiscal court’s industrial site at Savoy makes for a good fair grounds and permanent home for the event. It is also a site with plenty of room for expansion to add additional events, such as maybe a carnival next year.
There were two things that I think really held back the fair in previous years. One was the fact that the previous fair board lacked a permanent home for it and a site big enough where everything could be held in one place.
The second thing was the previous fair board would have some good events, such as the donkey race for a few years. The problem was that events would come and go, and the fair didn’t grow each year. It just subtracted one thing and added another.
If this new fair board can grow current attractions and events and add a new event or two each year, then I think there is real potential here for this to be a great fair. Maybe they could even partner with some other organizations to organize some of the events.
For instance, earlier this month the Whitley County Fiscal Court sponsored a barbeque cook-off on the front lawn of the courthouse as part of the bicentennial celebration. This might be a good addition to the fair next year.
Maybe we can add a concert or two next year after the mud bog. How about a gospel music challenge with local church youth groups performing?
The Cumberland Valley Cruise-In has car shows most months during the summer in either downtown Corbin or at Cumberland Falls State Park. Maybe the group could be talked into organizing a car show at the fair next year.
There are numerous possibilities if the fair continues.
I hope to see it back bigger and better next year.