If you have driven past the fairgrounds over the past two days you have seen lots of activity. Animals have arrived, non-livestock exhibits have been entered, displays have been set up, the food wagons are parked in their new location for the next week, and the carnival rides are being assembled. The white exhibit building and barns at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor Saline Road, Ann Arbor, were full of action on Monday as folks of all ages entered everything from vegetables to photos, collections to arts and crafts and the ever popular flowers, antiques and needlework. Exhibits can still be entered from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday and then all non-livestock exhibits will be judged Tuesday afternoon. The fairbook is digital this year and can be found online. Anyone interested is invited to enter exhibits. The Boys and Girls Pet Show and the Decorated Bicycle Contest will be held rain or shine at the fairgrounds on Tuesday evening, with sign up from 5 – 5:30 p.m. and judging beginning at 5:45 p.m. Youth ages up to 16 may participate and all pets are to be on a leash or in a cage. The beef and feeder calf judging will begin at 5:30 p.m. and goat judging will begin at 6 p.m. There will not be a parade in 2019.
The fair officially opens with Saline Schools Day on Wednesday, August 28 at 9 a.m. New for 2019 is a special all day admission price of $5 for ages 11 and over. The Cement Slab Tractor Pull will take place on the track in front of the grandstand beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout the day and evening until all tractors have pulled. Returning for a second year is the Inclusion Day special where our special needs friends and their helper will receive free admission on Wednesday until 3 p.m. and Elliott’s Amusements will provide free selected rides for them from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants can also do an Inclusion Day craft in the tent by the midway from 12 to 3p.m. and the barns and exhibits will all be open. The remaining carnival rides will open at 3 p.m. Late afternoon and evening activities include a Saline Alumni Gathering, the Saline School Clubs and Organizations Showcase, the rabbit, pig, poultry and lamb judging and the Saline Schools Ag Olympics. Also new this year is the Saline Community Fair Ambassador Scholarship Program and the recipients will be announced Wednesday evening.
Saline High School alumni are invited to the first Saline Alumni Gathering at the Saline Fair. It will run from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and will be located in Building G. Come and visit with other alumni, have some snacks, enter a drawing and play some cards if desired. The Alumni Association will also have their new alumni t-shirts for sale.
At 5 p.m. Amie Frank with Washtenaw County Farm Bureau will be presenting “Exploring STEM Activities and Careers”. The interactive demonstration will take place near Building B and will reinforce the impact that STEM careers have on the agricultural community. Students of all ages and parents are welcome. Also from 5 to 7 p.m. there will be the premier of the Saline High School Clubs and Organizations Showcase. Twenty-five of the high school clubs have pre-registered for this new event. Each club will set up a display in Building B to promote their club and share with fairgoers their mission. At approximately 6 p.m. each club will also give a brief presentation on stage about their club and cash awards will be presented to the top three clubs.
Nine outstanding high schoolers applied to be one of the first Saline Community Fair Ambassadors. They completed an application, resume and interview all prior to the fair. The four 2019 ambassadors will be announced and presented their scholarships during the club showcase at approximately 6:15 p.m.
Meanwhile several animal shows will be taking place on Wednesday. Rabbit judging starts at 6 p.m. in Building E and the Pig Club judging also begins at 6 p.m. in Building B. These shows will be followed by the poultry judging and the Lamb Club judging at 7:30 p.m.
Students and parents will want to be ready to cheer on their favorite school building team during the Saline Schools Ag Olympics Contest which will begin at 7 p.m. in the horse arena near Building B. Come out and see staff members from Saline Area Schools compete for the right to be the Ag Olympics Champions! A sneak preview shows there may be activities such as cow chip tossing, milk pail racing, hay bale relay and more! Sounds like a fun and exciting Saline Schools Day at the fair!
The Merchant’s Building, exhibit areas and food booths will be open throughout the day and evening.
New this year is a Saline Community Fair t-shirt which will be offered for sale in the fair office. Fairgoers can register to win one of thirteen donated bikes which will be given away to lucky winners. Entry forms can be deposited throughout fair week into corresponding containers located with the bikes in Building C on the fairgrounds. The forms are on the website and available at local sponsors and at the fair. Winners do not need to be present.
Visit the fair website at www.salinefair.org for information on admission and ride prices, as well as specials for each day. Just click on the daily schedule of events for additional information on many of the activities. Many local businesses have fair schedules. There is also the availability of a Fair Fun Pass which will cover general fair admission and admission to all grandstand events for fair week.
The many volunteers who make the Saline Community Fair possible hope to see you at the fair. The Saline Community Fair also wishes to thank their many sponsors for all their support and making the fair possible. Please check out the list of sponsors and find more information at www.salinefair.org. You are also invited to follow the fair on facebook at Saline Community Fair or you may call the fair office at 734-429-1131.