OTTAWA — If you can’t find something to entertain you at the Putnam County Fair, you just don’t want to be entertained.
The 160th annual Putnam County Fair kicks off with its traditional opening ceremonies at noon Monday. What follows during the six days of the region’s first fair includes a variety of entertainment, including popular local musical acts, a circus and even a bear.
“For a small fair, I think we do a lot of great entertainment for kids and for families,” said Peg Kruse, the fair board secretary.
The grandstands will be hopping each night of the fair, including a busy Monday night kickoff that includes a veterans tribute, king and queen coronation, and the popular Marching Band Spectacular.
Harness racing returns to the fairgrounds Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Kruse said the fair expects a bigger racecard than usual this year.
The circus will be in town Thursday, as the Cincinnati Circus Company presents “The Big Show.”
The popular Tug-A-Truck event returns for a second year on Friday night.
Saturday’s grandstand lineup includes the always-popular demolition derby. There’s also a Power Wheels kids derby and the lawn mower derby.
Local band Nashville Crush will perform in the entertainment tent Saturday night to help wrap up the fair.
One unique addition to the fair this year in the Bear Mountain Wildlife Encounter Show, with two shows Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and three shows Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The show features a family of Syrian brown bears, with an entertaining and educational show about this unique species.
“That’s going to be really fun for the whole family,” Kruse said. “They’re already here setting up, and it’s something to see.”
Jesse Moore and his troupe of monkeys will stroll the midway with the Sunshine MonkeyShines.
Visitors at the fair also might catch a glimpse of Professor Bubblemaker’s Eclectic Entertainments. He plans to put a full-grown cow inside a bubble during the fair, tentatively scheduled for Thursday if he can find a willing cow.
Andy Kerns will carve customized chain saw wood creations throughout the week, with three shows every day.
A returning favorite at the zoo is the exotic animal petting zoo, which is open throughout the week.
WAR Wrestling will also be presented at the front arches on Friday and Saturday night.
The junior fair will also be busy throughout the week, with students presenting their projects and livestock. The Merchants Building is also full of vendors, Kruse said.
It wouldn’t be the fair without an assortment of rides, provided by Durant Amusements. Ride tickets at $16 for all-day passes or $12 for noon to 5:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. to close. A special $10 Kids’ Day special band is available during the day Tuesday, and a Midway Mania is offered for $8 from 9 p.m. to closing Saturday.