UPDATE: Washington County Fair attendance up, focus still on youth, agriculture

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE 9/2/19

The Washington County Fair slid into its third day Monday. While the fair board added more rides and vendors than they’ve had in years, officials say the focus is always on our area’s agriculture.

Fair officials believe great weather has led to the great turnout.

"First two days have been great," fair board president Kurt Bohlen said, "Really good attendance both days, really great weather, large crowds for the events. The rodeo was great last night, tractor pull was great Saturday night, rides have been great."

Local residents say it’s nice to see the county still putting effort into the fair as other communities have seen similar celebrations fade away.

"It’s nice to see that we’re not forgetting about stuff like that that used to be really important," Marietta resident Isaac Millard said, "now that we’re coming to other things we can go do, we still look back and can enjoy the things we used to enjoy."

But officials say while they try to have something for everyone, the main focus is always on the hard work and projects of kids in 4H=-H and FFA.

"They work hard all year long," Bohlen added. "Some of these kids have worked since before last year’s fair with their animals."

The junior fair dairy breeding contest was judged Monday.

"Where mark animals are judged based on you know for selling, meat quality," parent Lisa McNish said, "the dairy animals are judged based on what they look like, their structure, they look for tall, long, dairy looking animal."

Kids are also judged on showmanship. Ten year-old Michael McNish won last year and took home first place this year, too.

"For showmanship, he’d [the judge] be looking for not toward the cow but more towards you," McNish said.

"It’s a big leadership thing for these kids," Bohlen said, "and it teaches them how to work hard. You know they learn how to get better to make their project better and that’s what they strive for every year."

Bohlen says future leaders of the community get their start right here at the fair.



ORIGINAL STORY 8/30/19

Labor Day weekend is here and that means it's time for the annual Washington County fair.

The fair board says they're expecting a great turnout and great weather.

Pig races are back this year, along with live music, and traditional livestock sales. Officials say they have over 20 food vendors and over a dozen rides.

They say the fair is an annual tribute to our area's roots.

"You know there's a lot of kids here that work really hard on their projects every year," fair board president Kurt Bohlen said, "to come out and display them and it gives them a nice chance to do that, particularly your rural areas that have the farm background, and agricultural background, it means a lot to those areas and these kids, they take a lot of pride in what it is they do. It's very important to them."

The fair kicks off Saturday morning with the annual parade and continues through the holiday weekend until Tuesday night.