Free vision screenings available Monday, July 23
It's fair time in Ripley County

Wanda English-Burnett, Editor

Cotton candy, corn dogs, laughing children, dazzling lights, mooing livestock and sweet babies are just some of the sights and sounds that fill the Ripley County Fairgrounds Park at fair time. The Ripley County 4-H Fair will be center stage next week, July 22-28, at the park in Osgood.

The park will be buzzing with excitement as 540 4-H members exhibit their projects and compete for ribbons and the chance to go on to the state fair. There are approximately 100 mini 4-H members as well.

From one year to the next, organizers of the event work diligently to make sure the next year’s fair is bigger and better than before.

This year a new Youth Advisory Board has been implemented, according to LouAnn Menchhofer, Purdue Extension Educator CFS, 4-H Youth Development. She noted that the 12-member team comes from diversified 4-H backgrounds and are giving feedback to the fair board. They range in ages from fourth graders to seniors.

The official kick off to the Ripley County 4-H Fair is Sunday, July 22 at 6:00 p.m. where the crowning of the 2007 4-H Junior Leader King and Queen will take place along with the presentation of Ripley County Queen, Elizabeth Record, and her court, first runner-up Daniele Wiedeman, second runner-up Lacie Cain, third runner-up Brittany Joseph, fourth runner-up Natalie Neal, and Miss Congeniality Amanda Hartman. Prior to the official grand opening of the fair, there will be a 4-H horse and pony show at 9:00 a.m., a vesper service at the Show Arena from 5-6 p.m. with all 4-H exhibits open to the public from 5-9 p.m. A 4-H Banner Parade, fashion revue and style show, along with a tractor pull will round out Sunday’s activities at the fairgrounds park.

Popular nights at the fair for those who love the rides are Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, when kids can ride all night long for one price, $15.00.

Monday evening babies will take center stage at the popular Baby Show, which will take place in the Show Arena beginning at 5:00 p.m. Also, on that night, the Lions Club Vision Van will be at the fair, providing vision screening for adults and children from 5:30-9:00 p.m. The van will be parked at Building #14 across from the extension office.

The screenings include a visual acuity test (both far and near vision on each eye), a field vision test (how well a person can see motion in their field of vision while looking at a fixed object on each eye), and a pressure check (for the possibility of glaucoma). Other eye problems may also be discovered during the screening.

While the screening is not to be confused with a complete eye examination, it is extremely important in finding problems that need corrected. The van is being sponsored by local Lions Clubs that include Osgood, Milan, Batesville, Versailles and Metamora.

Also throughout the fair, the Lions will be collecting old eye glasses at their food stand. Just look for the food wagon that says Osgood Lions.

Tuesday evening an event growing in popularity is the National Pedal Pullers & Racers at the free stage. The queen and her court will participate in this event, along with whoever wants to “just have fun”. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. with the Pedal Tractor Pull starting at 6:30 p.m.

Each night the grandstand will feature an event you won’t want to miss. Monday night is the Motocross Races at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night will feature a Figure 8 Race. Wednesday night will be the Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m. Contact Terry Eaglin for more information at 689-1046 or 621-0259. Thursday night will be Quad & Cycle Flat Drags at 7:30 p.m. and Friday night will be Truck Drags at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at 7:30 there will be a Truck Pull at the grandstand. Call Gary McCoy for more information on this at 756-4689.

To enjoy an antique tractor pull, come out before the 4-H fair officially opens. This event will take place Friday, July 20 at 4:00 p.m. and is sponsored by the Osgood Lions Club. For more information contact Kevin Menchhofer at 812-756-0158.

There is something for everyone at the 4-H fair this year. In the Open Class division the quilt categories have been expanded as well as fresh produce categories added. From viewing all varieties of farm animals to canned goods, the fair promises to be the event you won’t want to miss next week. See a complete listing of daily events in this week’s The Versailles Republican.