BURTON — While ribbon-winning vegetables spend their last days ripening in the sun and midway rides are loaded on flatbeds for a slow trek toward Michigan, the 162nd Genesee County Fair is already armed with a packed schedule
Aug. 15-21. Check it out In addition to the quintessential rodeo, this year’s new attractions will include Twiggy the water skiing squirrel and a combine demolition derby, a new twist on the derby by putting farm machinery on the track.
Executive Director Christian Miller said the fair will bring back the sheep shearing contest for a second year, drawing contestants nationwide on Aug. 18.
“My favorite part of the fair is seeing the community come together for one big celebration before the fall hits. It’s a good time, seeing the adults reliving their childhoods,” said Miller.
He maintains the need for a county fair hasn’t diminished over the more than 150-plus years that Genesee County’s has been in business.
“Quite honestly, this might be the one time in a year that kids will see a farm animal. I think it’s important to know where their food comes from. It’s important to know the milk doesn’t come from a carton and the hamburger doesn’t come from a freezer. A county fair provides that,” said Miller, who grew up on a farm.
Miller himself has seen adults experience their first county fair and interaction with livestock.
All fairground acts will be family friendly, from the baby, ugly dog and jalapeno-eating contests to tomato baseball, belly dancing performances and pro wrestling shows.
The only exclusive adults-only event will be the nightly beer tent, which will feature local live bands nightly, wrapping up with a karaoke open mic on Sunday.
Gate admission to the fair is once again being offered for free, a model the fair offices went back to four years ago.
“It’s a nice well-rounded day for families and it doesn’t cost a lot of money,” said Miller.
Grandstand admission to check out country stars Rodney Atkins or Jerrod Niemann or see a monster truck show or demolition derby will cost a fairgoer extra money however.