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Portage County Farmers Market

Amherst Fair continues 4-H, FFA traditions

By Portage County Business Council

Originally published by the Portage County Gazette

The Portage County Fair of Amherst will stay true to its history, expanding livestock auction and exhibits and providing more prizes for the demolition derby, organizers say.

The Fair at Amherst will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday night with the carnival opening at 6 p.m. with wristbands at the Amherst Fairgrounds, 4504 Fairgrounds Road, Amherst. Hosted by the Portage County Fair Association, the fair will then run all day the following three days with gates opening at 8 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 14, 15 and 16. A day pass is $4.

“Our numbers are up right now, which is good to see,” said Tim Pederson, president of the Amherst fair board. “We’re very family oriented … What’s nice with our buildings is they’re all cemented so people can bring carriages.”

The Portage County Fair in Amherst was founded in 1869 and continues to foster interest in youth programs like 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA), focusing on those two agriculture programs. FFA and 4-H are student organizations grades K-13 for those who wish to gain skills in agriculture and leadership.

This year, the pig numbers have nearly doubled, Pederson said, with 42 set to come for the market compared to 26 last year. With those numbers increasing, he said, exhibitors should be on the rise as well.

Saturdays and Sundays are the largest draw days with Sundays being family focused. There is no admission charge on Sundays, and wristband day and the pedal tractor pulls featuring children also are Sunday. Ambrosia Pub and Grill also caters a Sunday breakfast on the grounds, he said.

Other items included at the fair are carnival rides, truck and tractor pulls, market animal sale, volleyball tournament, vacation raffle, famous fair food, games, cake auction, animal judging, pedal tractor races, music and entertainment.

The fair also will include the Hobby Lobby in the commercial exhibit building, with drop-off for the display set from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 8 to 10 a.m. Friday. The handcrafted items and collectibles are featured by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program Silver Threads group. Items may include carvings, paintings, knit and crocheted pieces, sewing, quilting, pottery, woodwork and stitchery.

The demolition derby, a fair-goer favorite, will be at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“We’re trying to improve our demo, allowing for more prize money,” Pederson said. “Demo is one of the biggest shows, and it’s harder for people to get vehicles.”

Unless otherwise noted, gates open at 8 a.m. The schedule of events is:

Thursday, July 14

Gates open at 5 p.m.

6 to 10 p.m., Carnival opens, wristbands are $17.

6 p.m., Pedal Tractor Race Registration, in the fair office.

6:30 p.m., Truck/Tractor Pulls.

8 p.m. to midnight, Music by Southbound.

Friday, July 15

Senior citizens free until 6 p.m.

8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Animal judging for horses, small animals, youth exhibits, poultry, waterfowl, beef, swine and sheep.

5 p.m., Carnival opens, bring a nonperishable food item and get 20 tickets for $10.

6:30 p.m., Truck/tractor pulls.

7 p.m., Cake auction.

8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Music by Spicy Tie Band.

Saturday, July 16

Family day.

9 a.m., Judging goats, rabbits and dairy.

Noon, Parade starts at the school.

2 p.m., Ag Olympics and Carnival opens.

5 p.m., Demo derby.

8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Music by Raised Reckless.

Sunday, July 17

Free admission.

9 a.m. to noon, Pancake breakfast.

9 a.m., Volleyball tournament.

9 a.m., Judging dog obedience.

Noon, Pedal tractor races (check-in 11:30 a.m.).

Noon to 6 p.m., Carnival open.

1 to 5 p.m., Wristband rides.

1 p.m., Animal market sale.

3 p.m., Parade of champions.

3 to 7 p.m., Music by 8th World Wonder.

6 p.m., All-inclusive vacation raffle.

For more information or details about the fair, visit

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