Tallmadge -- The Summit County Fair will welcome visitors of all ages to the fairgrounds this year from July 22 to 27.

The gates will open at 8 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. July 22 through 24; open at 8 a.m. and close at midnight July 25 and 26; and open at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. July 27.

Visitors can access the fairgrounds from North Avenue or East Howe Road.

Fair offers traditional, new attractions, entertainment

The organizers of the fair invite visitors to participate in a new agriculture education and promotion program called "Ag-venture." Participants visit eight stations, including those for the Summit County Farm Bureau, Summit County Beekeepers Association and Ohio Pork Producers, throughout the fairgrounds to learn about agriculture, and at each station they present a fair program to be stamped.

After obtaining all of the stamps, participants enter their programs into a drawing July 27, for which participants don't have to be present to claim their prizes. Prizes include a 42-inch flat screen TV and Akron Rubber Ducks tickets.

Pig races and a petting zoo will be part of the new entertainment offered July 25 to 27.

"We just try to do new things and educate people on agriculture. It's the No. 1 industry in Ohio, so our purpose is to help educate people on that ... ," said Theresa Call, vice president of the Summit County Agricultural Society.

"We feel it's a pretty great place for families to come together and just have a good time and ride some rides, learn about agriculture and have some good food," she said.

Call said she expects about 45,000 people to attend the fair this year.

In conjunction with Family Day on July 24, the fair will also have Safety Day, during which police cruisers, helicopters and ambulances from police stations around the county will be on display for visitors to check out and learn about the jobs of safety personnel. Parents also have the option to have their children's fingerprints taken.

For the second annual Country Day, the fair will feature four acts instead of one like last year, Call said. Will Hoge will be the headliner, David Fanning, Brynn Marie and Akron artist Mark Leach will perform.

The fair has added another class to its Rough Truck show called "Side by Side."

"It's kind of a cross between a ramped-up golf cart and an all-terrain vehicle. So that's something kind of new and different," Call said. "It's actually a timed race, and they compete individually. It's kind of like an obstacle course, where there's bumps, jumps that they have to make, and they have to stay within cones."

Another event of the Rough Truck class is the "Longest Jump" that has contestants competing to see who can jump the farthest off a tall hill.

"Rough Truck is something that's growing in popularity in the state of Ohio. It started down in Knox County and Carroll County area and has just kind of grown from there," Call said.

A minihorse pull, similar to draft horse pulls done in the past, also is debuting. The object is to see which minihorse can pull the most weight the farthest.

For more information on any event, visit www.summitfair.com or call the fairgrounds at 330-633-6200.

Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or hschoenstein@recordpub.com

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