By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
There aren't many places where you could see prize-winning cucumbers, beautiful flowers, art created from animal skulls, a boxing kangaroo, professional wrestling and grown men crashing cars into each other.
But, the Warren County Fair was one. In addition to the preceding list, the fair offered a variety of food, music, rides, carnival games and animal exhibits, to list just a few attractions.
The annual event wraps up Saturday and will feature a monster truck show, a motocross exhibition and musical acts Thrashen Hollar Bluegrass Band and The Fabulous Hubcaps, fair president Joye Wood said Friday afternoon.
"It's going really well," she said in a phone interview. "The weather is holding out on us, and attendance has been good."
Entertainment throughout the week has included WDW Wrestling, a lawnmower pull, comedian James Gregory, music by Cazhmeire, ATV drag races, singer Aaron Tippin and the Star Family Circus & Thrill Show, according to the fair's website.
While the fair doesn't start until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Wood said there will be a pit party at 2 p.m. in the back of the fairgrounds where people can meet the monster truck drivers, who will have their show at 5 p.m. During intermission, there will be a motocross exhibition, she said. Wood said the monster truck Shenandoah Crusher also will be offering rides.
On Thursday night, some far-off lightning didn't seem to dampen attendees' spirits. Warren County resident Andrew Potts was taking his 16-month-old daughter on a tour of the barn housing the chickens and rabbits. It was his first visit to the fair.
"Something to do," is how Potts explained their attendance. "It seems pretty cool. [We will] probably just look at the animals, maybe the demolition derby if it's still going on."
The rides -- ranging from bumper cars to a tall ferris wheel to a merry-go-round to a contraption that resembled a hang glider and forced riders to lie on their bellies before propelling them through the air -- were attracting the bigger kids.
Leisa Wood, of Front Royal, was there with family.
"I like it," her son, Colt, said as he watched his young daughter on one of the rides. "She likes it."
His mother added, "She loves it. It's a really nice fair this year. We like the rides. A lot of nice rides. Food's good. We usually try to come twice in the week."
Eleven-year-old Sydney Buhl, from Frederick County, managed to last 39 seconds before getting bucked off a mechanical bull.
"When he swings you really fast around and around, it makes you want to fly off," she said.
Sydney had also ridden the ferris wheel and sampled the kettle corn. The best part of the fair is the "rides, the people," she said.
Traditional fair fare -- burgers, fries, fried donuts, cotton candy -- and traditional exhibits were also being soaked up by attendees. In the exhibit hall were jars of various vegetables and relishes, flower contest entries, cattails and a variety of artwork, including children's paintings and drawings, foam art created by youngsters, photography, crocheted blankets and even cow skulls that had been painted. Some of the skulls were patriotic, while others were made to look like a giraffe and a zebra.
Miss Warren County Fair, Rachel Dominguez, wore her tiara Thursday as she made her way around the fairgrounds.
"I'm ecstatic to represent the community with this title," the 17-year-old Warren County High School student said. "Just the sense of community, I love coming out and seeing everyone. It's good to have a family-oriented event in Warren County."
A crowd had gathered Thursday night to watch the circus act. That evening's performers included a couple of clowns and a young woman riding a motorbike inside a steel orb. Late in the act, another young woman stood inside the ball cage while the bike zoomed around her.
The boxing kangaroo didn't make an appearance at that performance, but Wood said he didn't appear in every night's show.
Sheriff Daniel McEathron said someone had made a complaint about the animal act.
"We checked with the state vet...as far as they were concerned everything was fine," he said. "Whether anybody agrees with it or not is different [from] if it's against the law."
The number of exhibit animals was high this year, Wood said.
"There's always something going on different," she said. "When you sit here and you see people with smiles on their face, or you hear music and they're still dancing, it's a way to escape the world."