National Security Agency contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden likely won’t be attending the Pemberville Free Fair Aug. 14-17, as he is currently “visiting” Russia for an extended stay.
But in keeping with all the “spy talk” that’s been in the news lately, and playing off the name of the fun game many played as kids, the theme for this year’s fair is “I Spy...Fun.”
With food, games, a variety of traditional fair competitions, entertainment and rides, there is plenty of fun to be uncovered at the popular annual fair. And the best part is admission remains free.
The 2013 grand stand stage entertainment opens Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. with “I Want Animal Magic,” an exotic animal and magic show. From 8 to 9:30 p.m., Lynn Trefzger, a ventriloquist who brings a trunk full of comical characters to life, will perform.
Wrapping up main stage entertainment Aug. 14, the audience will hear young rising talent Connor Rose, a 16-year-old country singer and guitarist who has released his first EP completed title, “The End of Tonight.” Connor has opened for “Lone Star” and performed in a variety of venues, including The General Jackson Showboat in Nashville.
On Thursday, Aug. 15, The Stickers, a Western Pennsylvania band with three brothers, four country chart hits in Europe and five in the U.S. will perform at 9 p.m. The band has appeared nationally with national artists like Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band, Miranda Lambert, Justin Moore, Uncle Kracker, Travis Tritt, Clint Black and more.
Though the name implies they will perform later, After Midnight will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17 to take listeners back to the 1970s with cover songs from bands such as Kiss, Foghat, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, KC & The Sunshine Band and the Bee Gees. The five veteran musicians who make up After Midnight have been “Stayin’ Alive” for some time and have performed over the years with such artists as Eddie Money, Kansas, and Confederate Railroad.
The fair unofficially begins with the annual Community Church Service on Sun., Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Commercial Tent on the fairgrounds. The American Legion will make a chicken barbeque available right after the service.
The official Opening Ceremony will be held Wed., Aug. 14 at 6:15 p.m. at the main stage with the welcome by Mayor Gordon Bowman, an invocation and flag raising, and performances by Julie’s Dance Studio. The traditional Kiddie Parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Prizes are awarded in eight different categories, including entrants who best portray the fair’s “I Spy Fun” theme; the Good Ole Days; patriotic; radio, TV, movies and commercials; small floats; storybook characters; green materials and duct tape creations.
From 8-9 p.m. Aug. 14 on the main stage, the fair’s Senior King and Queen Ed and Lois Wozniak will be crowned, Outstanding Citizens Judy and Bill Beard and Fair Scholarship recipients Jennifer Lang and Jared Haas will be recognized, and the junior and teen royalty contestants will be announced. In the teen category, contestants are Eastwood High junior Sierra Corns, seniors Michaela Bunge, Maddie Jackson and McKayla Phillips; and recent Eastwood graduate Kellie Recker.
Traditional fair competitions will include baked goods, with judging in adult and children’s categories beginning at 2 p.m. Aug. 14. The baked goods will be auctioned to raise money for the fair immediately after the Kiddie Parade at the Scout Cabin.
Poultry and small animals also will be judged on Aug. 14 from 1-4 p.m. Produce will be judged Aug. 14 at 2 p.m.
The Central Ohio Pony Pulling Association contest will be held at 6 p.m. in the valley in two height classes. A horse pull is set for 3 p.m. Aug. 16 in the valley with competitions in lightweight and heavyweight.
American Legion Freedom Post 183’s Cattle Sale, featuring 38 steers, will be held Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Calf Club Barn led by auctioneer Andrew Lang. A market goat show and sale begins with weigh-in from 9-10 a.m. Aug. 14, judging at 3 p.m. Aug. 15 and sale at 6 p.m. Aug. 16.
The 84th annual fair Flower Show will be held Aug. 14-17 at Legion Memorial Hall. “A Wedding A’ Fair” is the theme of the show, sponsored by the Four Seasons Garden Club.
The 29th annual fair Quilt Show will be on display Aug. 14 from 6-8 p.m., Aug. 15 and 16 from noon to 8 p.m., and Aug. 17 from 3-6 p.m.
On Aug. 15, a swine scramble contest will be held for youths ages 6-15 who are registered by Aug. 8 and live within a 30-mile radius of Pemberville.
Category winners from the Kiddie Parade will march Aug. 17 at 12:30 p.m. ahead of the grand parade featuring Eastwood and other area bands and floats, military and Shriner units, antique vehicles and fire trucks all moving out at noon through town. Pete Maxwell, a retired UPS driver who spent about 30 years delivering to the Pemberville/Eastwood area, was chosen as parade grand marshal.
Other special events include a Sidewalk Chalk Art contest on Aug. 14 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Rain date Aug. 15); Kids Pedal Tractor Pull by weight class on Aug. 15 beginning at 5 p.m. in the library parking lot; a cornhole tournament with up to 24 teams Aug. 15 beginning at 5 p.m. at the basketball court; a fresh salsa-making contest Aug. 15; Twist & Shot Youth Dance for kids from K-5 is set for Aug. 16 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in front of the main stage; a Scavenger Hunt from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 in front of the main stage with clues representing something or someplace to visit at the fair; an Anything on Wheels Vehicle Show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 17 in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church parking lot; a Sand Castle Building contest Aug. 17 from 3-3:45 p.m. in front of the main stage with prizes for most detailed, tallest, most creative and overall best (sand, pails and shovels provided); a dog show with a variety of categories Aug. 17 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in front of main stage; the 38th annual Tug of War contest on Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. in the school valley featuring categories for youths ages 10-17 and adults; a five-team Pantry Project Aug. 17 from 6:30-8 p.m. near the main stage to create a creative structure from nonperishable food cans and household goods; and a three-mile Pancreatic Research walk on Aug. 18 beginning at 1 p.m.
Bingo will be offered from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 14-16 and 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 17. Free senior bingo for persons age 55 and older will be held Aug. 15-16 from 1-3 p.m. Free kids bingo for children in kindergarten through fifth grade will be Aug. 16 from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. in the bingo tent.
Throughout the fair, a free Kids Zone Tent for children from preschool to fourth grade will be operated. Hours vary by day, check the fair book for details.
The 2013 Pemberville Free Fair, which will be held Aug. 14-17, will include a number of new events and activities, as well as some time-tested popular favorites, including the Kiddie Parade set for Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m.