A New Century of the Crawford County Fair

The Crawford County Fair is celebrating Year 1 of a new century.

2017 marks the 101st annual Crawford County Fair (although the fair’s history goes back even further!). Look back through the first 100 years and you will see an event characterized by hard work, community, and wholesome fun: thousands of exhibits prepped to shine by kids and adults alike; volunteers, parents, and community members providing any assistance needed; rodeos, tractor pulls, livestock and crafts. And the classic fair food many have come to love on a hot, sunny summer day.

This year, the fair not only looks back through history; it looks forward to the next 100 years. From August 2-5, the fair will look much the same as yesteryear. Exhibits will be displayed with the same care as always. The fair food will be as tasty as ever. However, you would be amiss to think that the hard work on display over four days ends there. The 4-H youth members standing proudly next to their projects certainly experience the fair’s impact into their future. First, by learning to dedicate themselves to their projects. 4-H Youth Development Agent Katie Rohling understands the hard work put into each project: “4-H’ers must have the drive to work on their projects every day! They are solely responsible for feeding, training, and fitting their animal; working on their craft and practicing to learn the best method of constructing it; and overall presenting their project in the best way possible.”

Rohling has also seen fair projects grow into a lifelong career: “It’s a great way for 4-H’ers to get involved in projects that will benefit them for the rest of the life. For example, a 4-H’er involved in beef cattle may use their 4-H animal to start a small herd. This herd will gradually build, providing 4-H’ers with a start after school or is a way of paying for school. 4-H is providing them with skills that will benefit them for life!”

Not only does the fair provide 4-H members a chance to learn vocational skills, it builds a sense of community among all participants and volunteers: “The ability for these kids to come to the fair heightens their sense of community,” Rohling said. “They get to see how much the community is involved in the Fair and how much time volunteers devote to it. This makes them appreciate their roots.”

The roots of the Crawford County Fair are certainly dug deep into the area’s community. A staple of Summer over the last 100 years, all signs show that it will continue to celebrate hard work, the area’s agriculture and livestock trades, and community in the next century.

A rundown of all events to be held at this year’s fair (to be held August 2-5) can be found on the Crawford County Fair Facebook page, including a detailed list of exhibition and event start times and locations.

Two events of special interest will be held on the near the end of the fair: The Demolition Derby and Tractor Pull. The Derby has long been known as one of the most popular events, drawing an average of 3,500 to 4,000 spectators and 30 drivers. The tractor pull, an old favorite from the fair’s early years until the 1980’s, is making its reappearance for the second year in this new century.