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Rain doesn't dampen fairground spirits

Lawrence Fair
Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:31 PM

PROCTORVILLE -- The organizers of the Lawrence County Fair haven't let a little bit of rain get them down in the dumps, or the mud for that matter.

"We've had a few trucks get stuck in the mud, and we just pull them out," said Mindy Clark, secretary and treasurer or the Lawrence County Agricultural Society, which hosts the fair. "We're really friendly here, and we make sure everyone is taken care of."

That is the spirit that Clark said has been the catalyst for dozens of volunteers to work into the early morning hours shoveling mud and putting down about 250 tons of gravel so far to make sure fair attendees get the freshest start possible each day at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds.

Not one of the five days the fair has been active has gone by without a minimum of a couple of quick showers and looming clouds, but that hasn't stopped at least 8,000 people from attending the fair, including Wednesday night's 4-H and FFA Market Steer Show and Showmanship contest and performances from Generations and headliner David Lee Murphy on the grandstand.

"The weather will not hold us off," Clark said. "We still have had a lot of people come through the gates, and a lot of kids have even been just as happy to play in the mud. The rain seems to have good timing because we've been able to get all of our shows in after the worst of it has passed."

Even though they are determined to keep the fair in progress, organizers do shut down the rides during heavy showers and certainly when there is lightning, said Clark. The longest time period in which rides have been shut down so far was about 30 minutes, she said.

She also said there are fire marshals and emergency responders on fairgrounds who can order the shutdown of the rides if the situation calls for it.

"As long as the lightning holds off, we are always a 'go,'" said Clark. "We always will try to get our rides and our shows in no matter what."

She credited Bridgeport Equipment, Rolo Construction, Sand and Gravel and Lawrence County engineer Doug Cade with providing equipment, materials and manpower to keep the fair going.

That effort was appreciated by people like Connie Salyers of Chesapeake, who was working a fair gate with volunteers from Jeremiah 38, a non-profit missions and missions support organization.

In addition to working the gates, Salyers said her children have been involved in the 4-H and FFA contests at the fair since they were very young. She said her family camps at the fair each year.

"It's a family thing, and it's so great because you can pass it on from generation to generation," Salyers said. "I came here when I was little, and now I bring my kids. I was in 4-H, and I think this is something that is important to a lot of people in Lawrence County because it's a great way to spend your time and bring people together."

The Lawrence County Fair continues through Saturday, July 13.

Admission is $10 per day which includes free rides and admission to the grandstand. Rides operate starting at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon on Friday, Saturdays and Sunday. Parking is $5 per car. A weekly pass is available for $35.

A full fair schedule is available at www.lawrencecountyohiofair.com.

Follow Lacie Pierson via Twitter @LaciePiersonHD.

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