TIPPECANOE COUNTY (WLFI) — A busy week of livestock shows is underway at the Tippecanoe County Fair.
The Director of the Exhibit Association, Lacey Raub, says it’s nice to have the fair in-person and open to the public this year.
“We look forward to seeing you all come out this week,” said Raub “It is different than previous years because obviously we have a new facility and there are a lot of changes.”
Fairgoers and 4-H members will notice a large portion of the fair is located inside the new air-conditioned facility.
The facility includes an East Wing, North Wing, West Wing and the coliseum right in the middle.
“In the North Wing there will be dairy goats,” said Raub. “In the West Wing swine were there this past weekend, but now we've got sheep and boer goats in that area.”
Raub says the East Wing includes the food court and the non-livestock projects. While you’re in the food court, Raub says you’ll also notice a new change.
“The Pork Producers and the Cattlemen’s Association have combined this year, as far as for serving,” said Raub. “So when you go into the food court it doesn’t matter what line you go in as long as you go to the Tippecanoe Livestock Association you can order whatever sandwich.”
The beef cattle will stay in the beef pavilion on the far west side of the fairgrounds.
“Then, in what was known to most people as the old swine barn, is now called the West Pavilion,” said Raub. “In there you will find dairy cattle, rabbits, poultry and llamas."
4-H members will notice a new show ring with AstroTurf on top.
"As far as the new show ring goes, there is about three inches of sand compact and then we also have AstroTurf on top of that,” said Raub. “We have gone in this direction as it's an option for it being reusable in the upcoming years, so we're going to see how that works for us this year."
Raub said she is looking forward to receiving feedback from exhibitors and parents regarding the new set-up.
“Yes, there’s a lot of physical and structural changes that have taken place here this year and there’s a lot to work through,” said Raub. “We just ask for your patience because we’re trying to figure it out just as much as you are at times.”
Monday July 19 the Dairy Goat Show will take place. The Beef Show and beef Grand-Drive will take place on Tuesday. Wednesday, 4-H members will show Sheep and Boer Goats.
Thursday the week of livestock shows will conclude with the Dairy Cattle Show and Supreme Showmanship.
Two traditions will be returning this year; the Junior Farmers Parade and the Greased Watermelon Contest.
“The Junior Farmers Parade is actually for young kids and it’s sponsored by The Farm Bureau,” said Raub. “They can dress up in costumes, parade around and they’re judged, so it’s really interesting to see what they come up with.”
Raub says it’s all about the kids having fun and enjoying their experience at the fair.
“The Greased Watermelon Contest has been around for a long time,” said Raub. “That will take place late in the evening on Thursday and the kids are actually the ones that race.”
The greased watermelon contest is a contest is a battle between the different livestock barns and clubs.
Participants will race through an obstacle course while holding a greased watermelon.
“We actually have an alumni team that comes back and the teams have had a team in the past,” said Raub. “They will race through an obstacle course while holding a greased watermelon, so that’s always a good laugh.”
Raub would like to remind 4-H members and fairgoers to enjoy the new amenities, while also being respectful.
"More than anything we're very fortunate to have his new facility,” said Raub. “So let's keep it clean, pick up after yourself and be respectful."