By Brad Fauber
Preparations for this year's edition of the Frederick County Fair began many months ago, and the time has now come for the annual weeklong event to kick into full swing.
The Frederick County Fair will begin this weekend with pre-fair events before officially opening its gates on Monday at the fairgrounds in Clear Brook.
"So far, so good. We've been working for months," Frederick County Fair Association reporter Mary O'Neal said Wednesday. "We really start working a month after it's over every year and just kind of cross out T's and dot our I's and make sure that everything went well."
This weekend's pre-fair events will include the Frederick County Fair Open Horse Show at the fair horse arena, which will be begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. On Sunday, livestock exhibitors may set up in the barns from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and agriculture and home economics exhibits may be brought onto the fairgrounds for set up at the Whitacre Building from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The little, pre-teen and junior miss Frederick County Fair pageants will also begin at noon Sunday on the South Lawn stage.
Registration, which can be done online this year, will also be open for check-in at the administration building from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday, gates will open at 4 p.m. and rides and concessions will open at 6 p.m. each night with a barbecue dinner in the Ruritan Building. Evening entertainment will also begin at 6 p.m. each night. Buildings housing FFA projects and animals will close at 10 p.m. each night.
On Aug. 2, gates will open at 3 p.m. and rides and concessions, including the dinner at the Ruritan Building, will open at 5 p.m.
This year's fair events will be similar to past iterations, although the Frederick County Fair will feature a few differences this summer. The biggest change is the cancellation of the Tots Pig Scramble and Hog Calling events due the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus that has affected piglets in many states. Those events, originally scheduled for Aug. 2, will be replaced by a sheepdog demo at the show barn at 6:30 p.m., O'Neal said.
"We could've gone ahead and had it but most of the fairs in the area have opted out of it just because of the possibility of this virus," O'Neal said.
"All of the hogs that are shown at the fair have to go to slaughter immediately after they're sold," she added. "Sometimes, other years, kids would take them back to the farm and keep them or they would go to the livestock auction, but this year because of this pig virus they have to go to slaughter."
The Virginia High School Rodeo Association performance also returns this year after a successful debut last summer and will be held at 6 p.m. Friday. The truck and tractor pull has also been expanded to a two-day event this year and is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
Admission is $7 for adults aged 12 and older, $3 for children 6 to 11 years old and free for children 5 and under, and covers entry to all of the entertainment events. Monday night is Senior Citizen's Night, allowing all visitors age 55 and older with an ID to get for $3. Ride all night tickets for carnival rides will be available for $20 every night.
For more information, call 540-667-8739 or visit frederickcountyfair.com.
Monday: Opening Night/Senior Citizens Night
7 a.m. to noon -- All livestock entered at the barn.
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. -- Registration for events at the Whitacre Building.
Noon -- Judges luncheon; exhibitors' meeting in the show barn.
1 p.m. -- Livestock weighed and graded; exhibits judged in the Whitacre Building.
6 p.m. -- Bandit racing/go-kart racing at the grandstand.
7 p.m. -- Miss Frederick County Fair Scholarship Pageant at the South Lawn stage.
7:30 p.m. -- Bubble gum blowing contest.
11 a.m. - noon -- Day camp with swine, home economics and flowers in the show barn.
4:30 p.m. -- 4-H and FFA beef cattle and market steer show.
5:30 p.m. -- Tiny Miss Frederick County Fair Pageant at the South Lawn stage.
7 p.m. -- Box Turtle Derby Race at the South Lawn stage; Monster Truck Show and Freestyle Moto Cross at the grandstand.
7:30 p.m. -- Apple Valley Square Dance Club square dance demo at the South Lawn stage.
11 a.m. - noon -- Day camp with cattle/pet show and other contests in the show barn.
4:30 p.m. -- 4-H and FFA sheep and goat show in the show barn.
7 p.m. -- Truck and tractor pull at the grandstand.
8 p.m. -- Cathy Kerns tribute to Patsy Kline at the South Lawn stage.
9:30 a.m. -- Pet show in the show barn.
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. -- Day camp with sheep and agriculture in the show barn.
11 a.m. - noon -- Day camp with horses, pageants and awards in the show barn.
4:30 p.m. -- 4H and FFA market hog show in the show barn.
7 p.m. -- Apple pie eating contest at the South Lawn stage.
7 p.m. -- Truck and tractor pull at the grandstand.
8 p.m. -- John Richards and the Virginians at the South Lawn stage.
9:30 a.m. -- Livestock winners in the junior and senior divisions will compete for the title of Supreme Champion in the show barn.
11 a.m. - noon -- Day camp with rabbits, poultry, hobbies, photography, fine arts and educational exhibits in the show barn.
6 p.m. -- Frederick County Fair Association special recognition awards in the show barn; Virginia High School Rodeo Association in the grandstand.
6:30 p.m. -- 4H and FFA market lamb, goat, steer and hog sale (poultry and rabbits sold throughout sale) in the show barn.
8 p.m. -- Crosswinds at the South Lawn stage.
6 p.m. -- Demolition Derby at the grandstand.
7 p.m. -- Springfield Exit Band at the South Lawn stage.
8 p.m. -- Mutton Busting contest in the show barn.
NOTE: The Hog Calling and Pig Scramble events originally scheduled for Saturday have been canceled.