Not only is the Great Darke County Fair the biggest celebration of the year, but it also hosts some of the most varied sporting events over nine days.
No where else in the county can you find such a wide assortment of athletes competing a few hundred feet from each other. It’s like one big, strange track and field event that ends with the start of the school year.
For starters, the Darke County Horseshoe Club kicked off the fair with six days of non-stop horseshoe pitching. Whether it was a King of the Hill tournament or an open call to any fair visitor, the DCHC could be seen most of the fair out in the horseshoe courts.
While Ohio is historically one of the most competitive horseshoe states, I noticed that every contender was just as concerned with catching up with old friends than winning an individual event.
And because Darke County is so well-known for harness racing and the talent that comes out of the area, it makes for an annual event that many fair-goers look forward to year-round.
Continuing the tradition, the Darke County Harness Horsemen’s Association hosted more sessions than any other fair in Ohio this year.
And the Gene Riegle Memorial Open Pace was undoubtedly an event that the DCHHA will remember for a long time. The $10,000 prize purse was an exciting way to honor Riegle’s memory, and its always great to see closing night go out with a bang.
I was surprised at the level of athleticism and competition at the Darke County Fair Cheerleading Competition last week. For any who doubt the legitimacy of competitive cheerleading, I’d recommend you stop by the grandstand next year and let 20 teams show you otherwise.
Many of the girls were ten years old or younger and performed gymnastic routines that I wouldn’t dream of emulating in my wildest dreams. It’s definitely an event that I’ll be sure to check out every year.
When many talk about tractor pulls, it goes without saying its a niche sport. But its one that I’d invite everyone to try once, if only for the fact that many of the tractor motors are essentially modified jet engines.
While chunks of dirt are flying into the air, huge tractors dart forward dragging huge sleds behind them. If that’s not enough to get your heartbeat going, the roar of their engines might be the loudest thing I’ve ever heard outside of a night at Eldora Speedway.
And ending the fair in true Darke County fashion, Saturday night brings junk cars in from all over for one of the roughest sports of the summer.
Of course I’m talking about the Demolition Derby, which as long remained a fan favorite over the last twenty years. If you’re waiting for one final fair event, the derby is definitely one of the most unique shows at the fair.
So while the fair may be most known for its musical acts and food, be sure to remember next year that its one of the hotbeds for Darke County athletics and be sure to check out as many competitions as you can.