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Posted July 23, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Pieces falling into place as organizers gear up for the Frederick County Fair

Buck Fellers and Rick Harrison level the tracks
Buck Fellers, left, and Rick Harrison level the tracks of the Dragon Wagon, an amusement ride in the carnival area at the Frederick County Fairgrounds in Stephenson on Wednesday. Dennis Grundman/Daily

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By J.R. Williams -- jrwilliams@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- If it can't compete, don't bring it next week.

Only the very best will take home blue ribbons at this year's Frederick County Fair, which begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 1. All the familiar contests, rides, music and food are back.

"Things are looking good," said Mary O'Neal, reporter for the fair. "We're getting things organized ... and working on the grounds.

"We hope that people will come out and show their support," she said.

A few events are scheduled this weekend before signature festivities begin Monday.

Saturday's "western, gaited and speed" horse show begins at 9 a.m. An English hunter-jumper horse show will be held on Sunday at the same time. The little, pre-teen and junior miss pageants are at noon Sunday.

Those wishing to enter their prize agriculture and home economics contest entries may do so Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Livestock and other exhibits can be entered Monday morning.

Monday marks the start of rides and concessions, with gates opening at 4 p.m. Fairgoers over 12 can expect to pay $5. Admission for children age 6 to 11 costs $2. Children under 5 get in free. A weekly pass costs $20.

Monday events include a barbecue dinner, scholarship pageant, lawnmower racing and a bubble-gum blowing contest. Monday, Thursday and Aug. 1 are "special ride nights," which offer unlimited rides for one price.

Beginning Tuesday and new this year is a children's camp that serves as an introduction to competing in the fair. Young animal handlers, chefs and hobbyists are invited to the free program, which runs from 10 to 11 a.m. each day.

The camp is designed for children about 7 years old, O'Neal said. A different interest is covered daily.

Also on tap for Tuesday are monster trucks at 7 p.m., followed by music from Peter McCory and the popular cow chip toss at 8 p.m. The cattle and steer show is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. that afternoon.

The demolition derby begins Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and continues Thursday at the same time. Music by Springfield Exit will entertain crowds during Wednesday's derby, and the Brandy Stills Band will play during Thursday's event.

July 31 marks the livestock awards for supreme champion showman and overall champion showman at 9:30 a.m., with the livestock sale afterward at 6:30 p.m.

The truck and tractor pull and potato sack race also will be held July 31 before the New City band plays at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's hay bale throwing contest is at 7:30 p.m.

O'Neal said the fair has seen a drop in educational exhibits and booth registrations this year. Corporate interest has waned in comparison to previous years, she said. "They're just not out there doing that," O'Neal said.

But the number of food vendors has remained steady, and fair officials are not expecting an attendance drop at popular events, she said.

"I think a lot of people are doing staycations," she said. "All the entertainment is included free. ... Kids love the [demolition] derby and the truck and tractor pull."

For more information, including a schedule of events, visit their Web site at
www.frederickcountyfair.com or call 667-8739.

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