WAPAKONETA — Auglaize County Fairgrounds Secretary Fred Piehl told a group of officials Sunday that the 2014 fair would be “the best Auglaize County Fair yet.”
The fair will now have six days to make up for a somewhat lost day and back up that claim.
Moments after a brief fair-opening ceremony Sunday with local elected officials and other members of the business community, dark clouds opened up and delivered a torrential downpour and forced the cancellation of two attendance-bringing events at the fair.
A high school band parade scheduled to begin at noon and the style motorcyclist show scheduled for 2 p.m. in the grandstand both had to be canceled because of heavy flooding across the grounds. However, Piehl said the grounds were drying up quickly because of great drainage.
Ironically, the fair board had honored the individual greatly responsible for that drainage just moments before the rain started. The Auglaize County Engineer Doug Reinhart was honored with the 2014 fair supporter award for his work on the grounds.
“Over the years he has came up with a lot of new ideas and helped by bringing a lot of equipment,” Piehl said. “He has helped with our drainage on the ground for forever. He is always the first guy we can call and he always works it into his schedule.”
The high school band was one of two new events scheduled for the fair but had to be canceled. In the other new event, the Beer Barrel Boys performed at 7 p.m. in the free entertainment tent, compliments of Happy Daz owner John Heaphy.
Piehl said he was still confident the fair would be a success as “the grounds are draining it out as fast as the rain comes.”
Other events highlighting the fair include the children’s pedal pull show and the fair king and queen coronation on Monday, comedy juggler Mike Hemmelgarn and gospel band Dixie Melody Boys on Tuesday, harnace racing and the T-102 Country Star playoff final on Wednesday, a veteran program and the demolition derby on Thursday, entertainers Soul’d Out Quartet and the Earthquakers on Friday, and WAR wrestling and the Moon City Nationals NTPA Grand National Tractor pull on the final day Saturday.
The week is also heavily laden with several junior fair shows and competitions, various presentations from local historical societies, plenty of food vendors and many more chances for free entertainment and presentations.
“We were very fortunate that the parking lots didn’t get too muddy,” Piehl said. “All of the parking lots except for the west parking lot are in good shape. It’s a little muddy but we will be back in business quickly.”