Traditional and new entertainment highlight 69th Annual Ocean County Fair
The Ocean County fair marks its 69th year, opening today with five days of new and traditional fun through Sunday, at Robert J. Miller Airpark in Berkeley Township.
Jeff Adams, President of the Ocean County Department of Agriculture, is hoping crowds will be entertained by professional bull riding demonstrations scheduled for Friday night that have been added this year which is expected to be "quite exciting."
The traditional pig races are back and there is a twist this year, according to Adams.
"They've expanded to dachshunds. They have dachshund puppies that they've trained to also race like the pigs. They call them hot dog races," Adams chuckled.
Also back by popular demand is a chainsaw carver.
"It's an opportunity for people to watch a piece of art be created in front of them and actually even purchase it, if it's something they're of interest, and we've worked out with our chainsaw carver that he'll actually take requests," said Adams.
A Comedy Hypnosis show is schedule for Saturday night in the main tent, featuring Dr. Steven Michaels, who Adams pointed out rearranged travel plans to China so he could perform at the fair.
"He's been a real crowd pleaser in years past," said Adams.
Meanwhile, the ride section is being expanded by 20-percent this year, which Adams noted should allow for more variety.
Despite the addition of new entertainment this year, Adams pointed out the importance of keeping tradition.
"I grew up in Ocean County as a 4-H kid and I have stories of fairs from 30, 40 years ago, and you get into conversations with people and they too have memories of fairs. We want to make sure we give an opportunity to create new memories for the new generation that's here."
Adams pointed out there was some doubt about whether this fair was actually the 69th or 70th year. It wasn't until organizers were researching the fair's history for a power point presentation about previous fairs that they came up with the answer.
"When we started getting into the detail of information that we found in Ocean County Historical Society and clippings that were maintained in the Agricultural Building we've come to find out that it was actually August 19, 1947, was the first annual Agricultural Field Days, which was the precursor to the fair, so it turned out to be the 69th fair this year, next year is actually the 70th," explained Adams.
35,000 to 45,000 people attended last year and Adams said he's hoping for equally as much, if not more. Despite the heat, the forecast looks favorable.
Adams noted that social media, which wasn't available in the past, has been helping get the word out about the fair.
Admission if $7 for adults and children under 10 are free.
"Thursday evening and Saturday day we have unlimited rides for $15. The fair is open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.," said Adams.
Parking is free. The county will provide shuttle buses that will run continual loops throughout the parking area.
A complete list of show times and entertainment can be found here: http://www.oceancountyfair.com/