If you think that the Howard County 4-H Fair is the same every year, think again. New events this year include Tonni Petersen's Hell Drivers stunt-driving show on Wednesday, July 14, and AMA Flat Track Racing on Tuesday, July 13. Both are at the Northwest Grandstand.
A crowd favorite will likely be the Colts Make It Personal Tour, considering the team made it to the Super Bowl in 2010.
From 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13, west of the midway, there will be a meet-and-greet with Colts players and cheerleaders. While there, participate in the “Bleed Blue Blood Drive” at the Indiana Blood Center mobile units. Then register kids for the Colts Kids Club or the Colts Crib Club before registering yourself to win Colts pre-season tickets and pick-up free Colts giveaways. As if that weren’t enough to do, you can test your abilities on a rock-climbing wall, attempt to catch an NFL punt, play on the Colts interactive inflatables, and experience Colts In Motion, the team's traveling museum.
The fair opens at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 12, Wednesday, July 14, and Friday, July 16. It opens at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, July 13 and 15, and at noon on Saturday, July 17.
With the sluggish economy, people are looking for ways to save money while enjoying the fair. There are plenty of discounts available for rides.
At Meijer, before July 11, you can purchase in advance a ride wristband for $18, a $2 savings per wristband.
Look for additional $2 discount coupons from the Kokomo Tribune and Z92.5 for up to a $4 savings on wristbands purchased before July 11 at Meijer.
Thanks to Shine 99, you can ride any ride for 99 cents on Wednesday, July 14.
Thanks to Coca~Cola, you pay one price to ride all the rides you want between noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 17.
Many programs are available for free or much less expensive than they would be, thanks to sponsors such as Howard Regional Health System.
For example, Howard Regional Health System sponsors the Miss Howard County Fair Queen, Miss Howard County Junior Queen, and Little Miss Howard County Princess pageants, which you can watch for free at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, July 12, and then watch the queen be crowned at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13. All the pageants are at the South Grandstand.
Howard Regional Health System is sponsoring the Talent Contest at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14, and First Church of the Nazarene’s Patriotic Tribute, “A Tribute to Freedom,” at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 15. Both events are at the South Grandstand.
Howard Regional Health System, along with Z92.5, is making the Howard County Music Contest possible at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 16, at the South Grandstand.
The Phil Dirt and The Dozers concert is free because it’s sponsored by Howard Regional Health System at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, at the South Grandstand.
Of course, you’ll also find Howard Regional Health System employees at the commercial building (tennis building).
“Part of our mission is to educate and inform the communities we serve,” said Jim Alender, chief executive officer and president of Howard Regional Health System. “This year, more than 100 Howard employees will participate in various activities surrounding the Howard County 4-H Fair, and we’ll be sharing disease prevention and wellness messages with the many hundreds of people who stop by our booth. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!”
First Farmers Bank & Trust is another big sponsor, notably the events at the Pioneer Village. The village will feature Oliver antique tractors this year. In addition, on a daily basis check out the village to see antique tractors, antique gas engines, and steam engines. Plus volunteers will be demonstrating threshing and baling, baking, fan-running, blacksmithing, sawmilling, chair caning, wool spinning, old-fashioned corn shelling, chain saw carving, candle dipping and much more.
Other sponsors include Z92.5, WIOU, Classic 98.5, WWKI, Meijer, Shine 99, WFRN, and Coca-Cola.
While having fun at the fair, you can also help others.
July is “Beef up the Mission” month at the Kokomo Rescue Mission. When 4-H’ers auction their livestock beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, Kokomo Rescue Mission staffers will be there hoping to hear the words, “Send it to the mission.” That means the buyer is donating the animal to the Kokomo Rescue Mission, which then pays to process it into meat to feed the hungry.
The Kokomo Rescue Mission depends heavily on the donations to stock the freezer and to last it from year to year. Although there are many canned food drives across the community throughout the year, July is the only month in which the Kokomo Rescue Mission can count on getting meat donated, and the majority of the meat served at the mission comes from the Beef Up the Mission project.
“Our supply of beef was gone in March and there's very little pork left,” said Bebe Dorris, director of development at the Kokomo Rescue Mission. “We served 124,616 meals in 2009 and gave groceries to 3,960 people, supplying another 39,600 meals. The need in our community is staggering. Please help us be ready to help the homeless and hungry. If you or someone you know is going to purchase an animal this year, please consider donating it to Kokomo Rescue Mission.”
Another way to help others is by dining at Morning Star Church’s tent. Morning Star Church volunteers have made and served noodles at the Howard County 4-H Fair for more than 35 years. The proceeds go to missions and toward its now annual free (even donations aren’t accepted) chicken and noodle dinner on Good Friday.
According to Don Smith, one of the volunteers, the free chicken and noodle dinner for the community on Good Friday is just like God’s gift of salvation to man through His Son Jesus’s death on the cross. It’s 100 percent free. All you have to do is accept it.
In 2009, Morning Star Church fed 5,300 hungry people on Good Friday. This year, they served more than 6,000, a sign of the tough economic times.