A skeet shooting competition and a mud bog are two events that are new for this year’s Whitley County Fair, which is returning this week after a one-year hiatus and now has at least a semi-permanent home.
Due to various difficulties, most of last year’s fair events were cancelled, but the Whitley County Fair now has a new location and a new board of directors.
Whitley County Fair Board Chairperson Bobby Joe Monhollen said that the Whitley County Fiscal Court is allowing the fair board to use part of a 100-acre tract of land, which is located at 80 Savoy-Sumer Road, as a county fairgrounds, which is something that the previous fair board didn’t have.
Part of the land is utilized by the Whitley County Detention Center, which grows a garden there. It is the same location where the Sally Gap Bluegrass Festival has been held in recent years.
“This year, the biggest thing that is going to add to our success is getting a place to actually have a fair and get to call it ours, kind of. It is the county’s property, but the county is going above and beyond trying to help us,” Monhollen said.
“As of right now this is going to be the permanent home of the fair. The land lays well out there. It is going to allow for exponential growth.”
Various vendors will also be set up at the fairgrounds Friday and Saturday.
Hillview Stables will offer a petting zoo, pony rides and train rides.
Mossie Bounty will offer mechanical bull rides.
The Whitley County Cattleman’s Association and Double R Smokehouse will have concessions for sale.
Farm and home exhibits
Registration for the farm and home exhibits will take place from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Office in Goldbug Wednesday.
Exhibits will be open for viewing from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the extension office.
Exhibits can be picked up from 10 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 4 p.m. on July 23.
It includes everything from canned goods to crops, crafts and artwork.
The Col. Blaine Stewart Summer Sizzling Skeet Shoot will take place Friday at 3650 Highway 92E, Williamsburg at Andy Croley’s farm.
“Andy has stepped up and is helping to put that on. I think that is going to be a neat event for the fair this year,” Monhollen said. “I am really excited for it. I am going to go up there and check it out.”
There will be an under 18 competition that will take place at 4 p.m.
The senior competition is set for 5:30 p.m.
The military/law enforcement competition is set for 6 p.m.
The open competition is at 7 p.m. and the four-person team competition is at 9 p.m.
“I think it is going to help to draw an outside crowd to this area. Maybe it will help to build up teams in this area to go compete at outside events and bring back different titles here,” Monhollen said.
“I think it will ultimately help bring in people from like Louisville and Lexington. Coming to shoot skeet is going to help bring money to our community, which will benefit everyone.”
Gates open at 4 p.m. and the mud bog will take place starting at 6 p.m. Friday at the fair grounds.
The mud bog features ATV’s and four-wheel drive vehicles racing through mud-filled pits trying to get through in the fastest time possible.
“The mud bog is an event that is open to anyone in Whitley County that has a truck, four-wheeler, Jeep, car, anything they want to put into the mud, we have a class for it,” Monhollen said.
Eskridge Shelton has dug two 150-foot long mud pits for the event.
One pit is for four-wheelers, side-by-sides, street class trucks and so forth. The other pit is for the outlaw class, and big souped up mud buggies.
“It is going to be a harder hole to get through. We are hoping to have it a little more competitive and it be more who can get across it the fastest instead of who can get the furthest distance. We are hoping to sling a little mud and make a lot of noise,” Monhollen said.
There are eight divisions and a total of $1,500 in prize money will be awarded. Entry fees range from $10 – $20 for most divisions. There is a $50 entry fee in the outlaw class division.
Saturday morning events
Saturday’s events are all at the fair grounds.
Starting at 10 a.m., the corn hole tournament will start. There is a $10 entry fee per team with an 80 percent payback for winners.
At 10 a.m., there will be an antique tractor show and competition, which includes the slowest tractor race and the tractor tennis ball race.
At 11:30 a.m., there will be a free kids pedal tractor competition, which is hosted by the Whitley County Young Farm Bureau Group.
The pedal tractor race will have two divisions. One is for children ages five and under. The other is for children up to 10 years old.
Awards will be given and pedal tractors will be provided.
“I think the tractor show is something we can really improve on here in Whitley County. It has been great in years past,” Monhollen said.
Monhollen said he goes to Mt. Vernon every year for the tractor show there, which usually features close to 1,000 tractors.
“If they can get 1,000 tractors in Mt. Vernon, then we can get it here,” he added. “I think that is something we can build on in the future too. It is something that has been with the fair a long time, the antique tractor show, and it is something we are going to keep around for many years to come.”
Saturday evening events
Traditionally, one of the fair’s most popular events, the horse show, will take place at the fairgrounds starting at 5 p.m., and feature 20 classes of events.
There is no admission charge for the lead line or stick horse categories, which are both for riders ages 12 and under. Riders must provide their own stick horses.
There is a $15 entry fee for the championship walking and championship racking classes. The remainder of the classes have a $10 entry fee.
“We want to build the horse show from what it is to what it can be,” Monhollen said.
He added that the fair isn’t going to be possible if the community doesn’t get involved.
“If you can get the community involved, you can have a fair that is as big as any fair in the state of Kentucky, and there are some big fairs in the state,” Monhollen said.
“I hope to see everybody come out to the Whitley County Fair and support us and help us grow. I think it is something that the community really needs and really deserves.”
For more complete information about the Whitley County Fair, see an insert in this week’s edition of the News Journal.