The 162nd St. Joseph County Grange Fair is in the books, and organizers of the event said weather – as it usually is – was a key factor in attendance.
Though a final figure for the seven-day event won’t be available until sometime today, a sunny Saturday afternoon coupled with more than 5,000 people attending the event-ending Alan Jackson concert helped make up for a wet and cold Friday night.
The Centreville-based fair is the second-to-last county fair in the state and typically experiences a variety of extreme weather conditions. Fair officials said this year was no exception.
The 162nd St. Joseph County Grange Fair kicks off Sunday.
The seven-day event, which averages about 150,000 people over the course of the week, is once again offering a variety of activities and attractions.
Though not officially a fair day, Saturday will feature an 8:30 a.m. dog show and 4:30 p.m. poultry show.
Sunday’s opening day begins with large-mule pulls at 8 a.m., horse and rabbit shows at 8:30 and 9 a.m. respectively, and farm truck pulls at 4 p.m. The midway opens Sunday at noon.
Musical highlights include the Wallman family at 1 p.m. and the Wasepi Bluegrass band at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday is designated as Family Day at the Centreville-based fair.
The St. Joseph County Fair Board of Directors staged its annual media day Wednesday at the Centreville fairgrounds.
Members indicated they anticipate a well-attended fair again this year, with showcase events each of the seven days of the 162nd fair. The nightly events include farm truck pulls, Motocross, monster trucks, a demolition derby, a Beatles tribute band and country/western star Alan Jackson.
Other attractions include a mobile zoo, the return of the miracle of birthing tent and magic shows by Kandy and Co. The Elephant Encounter, a new attraction, is sponsored by the Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union and will stage its first performance Monday.
The fair, which features 67 different food-serving vendors, opens Sunday and concludes Sept. 22.
The 11th Constantine Harvest Fest took place Saturday and was declared a success by members of the organizing committee.
Karen Gillett, chair of the organizing committee, said strong attendance and positive feedback from vendors were key factors in helping make St. Joseph County’s final 2012 community festival a success.
A supply of nearly 400 ears of sweet corn donated by the Stears family was exhausted by the end of the day-long festival. In addition, the event featured a number of games, food, arts and crafts vendors, music, a raffle drawing for more than 60 donated items, a rubber duck race, and hula-hoop contest and water-balloon toss.
Planning for the 2013 Harvest festival will begin early next year.
Organizers of the 25th Mendon Riverfest, which concluded its three-day run Saturday, said the milestone anniversary was a success.
Riverfest Committee chairman Roger Cupp said a strong crowd all day Saturday made up for smaller-than-usual attendance Thursday and Friday.
Highlights Saturday included a canoe swamp, which drew eight teams and featured a $100 cash prize won by a three-member team consisting of Mendon residents Jenna and Meghan Griffith, and Three Rivers native Amanda Brady.
A 25-minute fireworks show that drew more than 2,000 spectators concluded the festival.
Organizers of this weekend’s Mendon Riverfest have issued a reminder that many of the activities set to take place during the three-day celebration require advance registration.
The festival’s website has sign-up forms for prospective participants in the Riverfest parade, its arts and crafts exhibit, Saturday’s Hornet Hustle 5K run, a fishing tournament, canoe swamp, canoe race, kayak race and Thursday’s opening-night lip-sync contest.
Cash prizes are available for many of the events, but advance registration is required.
Registration forms may be downloaded from the website mendonriverfest.com.