There are definite signs of life at the Greenup County Fairgrounds.
Concession trailers are parked here and there, still shuttered but displaying painted promises of deep-fried goodies.
The green segmented cars of the Dragon Wagon keep lonely vigil over the otherwise vacant midway, which by Tuesday will be a maze of clattering thrill rides.
Because Tuesday is the first day of the Greenup County Fair, and workers are preparing the grounds for the annual exposition.
This year marks the return of the horse show and the rise to featured status of the increasingly popular lawnmower races.
Other highlights include the pageant, truck and tractor pulling, and arenacross racing, according to fair board chairman Jay Sizemore.
The fair is dedicated this year to Bill Hieneman, who has never missed a fair since it began in 1947, except for the years of his army service in Korea.
Long a member of the fair board, Hieneman continues to volunteer during fair week.
The return of the horse show brings back a popular competition, Sizemore said. The show had been dropped a few years back in favor of a rodeo. “This is all local riders,” he said. It starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the main arena.
The lawnmower races started three years ago as a lark with a handful of entries. It has grown steadily and this year there are at least 50 mowers entered, Sizemore said. “It could be our biggest event if it keeps growing at this rate.”
This year there will be trophies and prize money, courtesy of sponsor Ronnie Tackett, owner of Greenup Giovanni’s. The races start at 6 p.m. Sept. 3.
“Right now it looks like a very good year going in,” Sizemore said. “We’re packed. All our vendor spaces are full. Everything seems to be booming for us.”
Workers have painted the show ring and the cattle barn and upgraded lighting at the front and back of the grounds.
There are 125 market animals entered in the 4-H/FFA competition, said extension agent Kathy Junker. There are more feeder calves, but fewer steers and hogs, mainly due to the hot summer, she said.
Junker anticipates spirited bidding at the auction Sept. 3. “It seems like prices are good this year based on other fairs,” she said. “I think more people are buying for their freezers.”
The pre-fair demolition derby begins at 7 p.m. tonight. Animal exhibitors will weigh in Monday.
Opening ceremonies are at 6 p.m. Tuesday and are followed by the Miss Greenup County Fair pageant at 7 p.m. in the main arena.
There are pageants for Baby Miss, Baby Mister, Little Miss, Little Mister, Junior Miss and Miss Teen Greenup County Fair on Wednesday.
Arenacross is Thursday and Kentucky Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pullers are Friday. The Greenup Old Tractors, Engines and Machinery club will have a show and an antique tractor pull Sept. 3.
The livestock auction starts at noon Sept. 3.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2652.
Greenup County Fair schedule of events
9 a.m. — Steer, feeder calf show, showmanship
4 p.m. — Rabbit, poultry show, showmanship
6 p.m. — Opening ceremonies
7 p.m. — Miss Greenup County Fair pageant
9 a.m. — Hog, feeder pig show, showmanship
3 p.m. — Baby Miss and Baby Mister Greenup County Fair
5 p.m. — Horse show
7 p.m. — Little Miss, Little Mister, Miss Junior and Miss Teen contest
9 a.m. — Lamb, goat, and dairy show, showmanship
1 p.m. — Round Robin showmanship for best all-around showmanship
2:30 p.m. — Llamas show, showmanship
4 p.m. — Livestock judging competition
7:30 p.m. — B and M Motor Sports Arenacross
9 a.m. — Horse show
4 p.m. — Recognition of Skill-A-Thon and livestock judging winners
6:30 p.m. — Kids in the Races
7 p.m. — Kentucky Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pullers
8:30 a.m. — Greenup Old Tractors, Engines and Machinery antique tractor show
10 a.m. — Kids’ day
11 a.m. — Dog show
Noon — Livestock sale
6 p.m. — Antique tractor pull and lawn mower races