A Montgomery County tradition that started in 1839 at Swaynies’ wagon yard on East First and Race streets continues this week.
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And it’s a new era with the first fair at a brand new location, 645 Infirmary Road in Jefferson Twp.
The fair was held on 30 acres of land at 1043 S. Main St. near downtown Dayton for 165 years.
“The neat thing about it all is, we are spread out. We are not compact like we were on Main Street,” John Yancik, president of The Montgomery County Agricultural Society, said of the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. “The fairgrounds are flat with no hills. Wear your gym shoes and plan to spend a long time.”
ADMISSION AND DEALS
Gates are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (except Sunday) during the fair set for July 9-15. Gates are open from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, which is Family Day at the fair.
The $10 admission includes grandstand events and free parking. Children under age 6 are admitted free with a paying adult.
“We have twice the amount of parking as we had before,” Yancik said. “Everyone is encouraged and welcomed to come to the fair.
FAMILY DAY: Admission is half price on Sunday, July 15, for family day.
Rides will be open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day except Sunday. That day, rides open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. All day ride wristband are $20. Wrist bands are $15 Sunday, July 15.
“I think everybody will be happy with what they see,” Yancik said.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Fairgrounds & Event Center of Montgomery County’s first phase includes two state-of-the-art buildings, the 26,000-square-foot Main Event Center and the 16,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall. Both are climate-controlled for year-round use for events.
There will be three large animal tents, Yancik said.
“It is a great time to see animals up close and enjoy an unbelievable assortment of fried food,” he said. “The 4-H kids will be more than happy to let the youngsters pet (the animals) and take their photos with them.”
Situated on 50 acres, this year’s fair will feature more than 65 food and retail vendors, many in the main air-conditioned building, all ranging from businesses selling gutters and shutters to artists doing henna tattoos.
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“The county fair is just exciting to come to,” Wallace said. “It is that country feel. It is an experience that only happens once a year.”
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Oh, the fair food.
Food options include midway classics like elephant ears, funnel cake and shaved ice as well as more unique items like stromboli, bacon corn dogs and chipotle grilled chicken tacos.
We stopped by the fair earlier this week and tried the stromboli. Mowry’s Stromboli included sausage, cheese, pepperoni and peppers and came brushed with garlic butter and with marinara on the side.
We also tried Murty’s sausage breakfast sandwich with thick grilled sausage and melty cheese.
Another item worth trying comes from Shives: Super crispy, piping hot fries.
The Smash It Demolition Derby will be held there at 7 p.m. Friday, July 13. There will also be tug-a-trucks, a tractor pull, a rodeo and motocross.
“It’s just an exciting moment for the community to see,” said Greg Wallace, the Montgomery County Fair executive director. “We have more vendors. We have brand new buildings.”
WANT TO GO?
What: The 166th annual Montgomery County Fair
When: July 9-15, 2018
Where: The brand-new Fairgrounds & Event Center of Montgomery County. Located at 645 Infirmary Road, in Dayton. U.S. Route 35W Connector (C.J. McLin Jr. Parkway) to Infirmary Road.
Cost: Wednesday through Sunday admission is $10 per person which includes grandstand events and free parking. Youngsters 6 and under free with paying adult.
More info: Website