WAPAKONETA — You can’t go wrong with an event featuring animals, especially when they have names like Arnold Shwartzenpigger or Oscar Meyer.
As one of its new events, the Auglaize County Fair featured Woody’s Barnyard out of Mulberry Grove, Illinois. The event had daily shows, which included wiener dog, pig and goat races.
“Young and old alike enjoy the different farm animals racing around the track,” Greg Woody said.
Greg and Karen Woody own Woody’s and take it to several county fairs each year.
The animals at Woody’s have been hand-raised by the family. As well as pigs, goats and the dogs, the family also has lions, tigers, turtles and woodchucks among its collection.
“There is a lot of laughter and cheering on of your favorite animal,” Woody said.
Auglaize County Fair manager Fred Piehl said the event has drawn large crowds since the fair began. Another new event, Bearadise Ranch feraturing live bears, has also been a big draw.
Piehl said the new events along with cooperative weather and great selection of live bands has led to a 14 percent attendance hike so far halfway through the fair.
“Everything has come together,” Piehl said. “The weather has been good, we promoted the fair well this year. We have the Earthquakers here again this year and they are always a big draw. It is shaping up to be a great fair.”
Bearadise Ranch owner Johnny Weide is part of a long line of ancestry that has had a love and concern for bears. During the show, the bears do everything from balancing on balls and climbing ladders to riding scooters.
With plenty of entertainment scheduled yet, Piehl said the success of this year’s fair is sure to continue.
“We have plenty big events coming up yet,” weather permitting, it will be one of our more successful fairs, he said.
Highlights over the last few days of the fair include top Christian acts The Browns and Guy Penrod in the gospel tent, The Earthquakers in the free entertainment tent on Thursday, and the always-popular demolition derby at 7 p.m. Thursday in the grandstand.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm