(published February 8, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Pig scrambles, adult pedal rallies and autocross are new additions to this year’s Madison County Fair entertainment. Many of the most popular attractions are back too, from dirt dragging to demolition derby.
Expo Week is scheduled for July 8-15. Below is the current schedule of evening entertainment. All items listed come with a $10 show admission fee. Pit lane passes are available at an additional cost and vary by race.
Saturday, July 8
The Broken Horn Rodeo makes its fourth appearance at the Madison County Fair. Outfitters in Ripley, Ohio host a variety of events—horseback rides, calves belaying, bull rides, and more. Local amateur cowboys and cowgirls are encouraged to race alongside the professionals.
“We’re also encouraging locals to get involved in the chase. We didn’t have it last year, but we’re bringing it back this year,” said Quinton Keelan, chairman of the Fair Commission’s entertainment and experience committee.
Shoot dogging is an event for amateurs. Participants can sign up for rodeo nights. The concept is pretty simple: Rodeo organizers keep a cow out of the way of shots while contestants try to catch it.
Sunday, July 9
It’s been a long, long time since the Bazaar last hosted a Pig Scramble, so the Bazaar has decided to bring it back. It’s the same idea as the stalker mentioned above: Pigs are let loose in pens and contestants try to catch them. There will be age divisions. The rest of the details are being worked out, Kieran said.
The ever popular children’s tractor pull will take place on Sunday. This time, adults can also show off their strength.
“We saw at the Fair Managers Convention in Ohio that they had tractors for adults. We thought if we didn’t have the opportunity to let older kids play as well, we’d be missing out,” Keelan said. “It would be fun to hang out in front of the rec pavilion.”
There is also musical entertainment in the works on Sunday nights.
Monday 10 July
KOI Drag Racing from Irvington, Kentucky will return to Madison County for a dirt drag race. Anything — trucks, four-wheelers, SUVs, cars, lawnmowers — you name it, you take it, you race it. The game will be played rain or shine.
“If it rains, we’ll keep using the track; we’ll just make it a muddy track,” Keelan said.
Tuesday 11 July
Paulina Jayne will make her second appearance at the show. This country music artist is from Nashville, Tennessee. Her latest single, “Big Hair Bigger Dreams,” was released late last year.
Wednesday 12 July
The Ohio Tractor Tractor Association will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023 and will be showcasing this year’s tractor tractors at the show. Keeran said they will have several courses that grab attention.
“We wanted to increase participation significantly. We revamped the event and partnered with the leading towing company in the region,” he continued. “We wanted to provide an entertaining program for those interested in professional truck hauling and for those watching for the first time.”
Thursday, July 13
The track was reserved on Thursday for the third annual Mason Cordell Memorial Motocross, coordinated by FastTraxx. Mason, the son of Matt and Amanda Cordell, was a Madison Plains High School student who died in a motocross crash in 2019.
The Fairness Commission is also working to arrange Thursday night’s musical performance.
Friday 14 July
Autocross is a new addition to the entertainment program and another opportunity for local residents to actively participate in the show. This event is a timed race. Drivers navigate dirt roads filled with hills and turns. A variety of vehicles are eligible for the race; competitors are placed into different classes based on their vehicle type.
“We’ll be finalizing our curriculum and class information over the next few weeks, and the rules and information will be posted on our website,” said Frances Hejduk of Derbydog Inc. in Mason, Ohio, which is running the event.
Keelan said the Fairness Commission asked the community to participate in the event “in all sincerity”.Watch details Derby Dog Company.
Saturday, July 15
In addition to competing in autocross, Derbydog also competes in the demolition derby, which ends the fair week each year.
“The demolition derby is a mainstay of almost every show,” Hejduk said. “We’ll have four or five categories, including full-size, compact and minivan. We’ll have power wheels for kids ages three to nine.”
Derbydog presents exhibits for fairs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
With the majority of evening entertainment settled, the Fairness Commission is turning its attention to daytime and midway entertainment.
“We have a huge budget for this,” Kieran said. “Plans are in the works to improve and enhance Midway Entertainment. There will be people showing a variety of craft and talent.”
Games are also planned. Some will be traditional fair fare and some will be new, he said.
“We’re also actively looking for new food suppliers to bring diversity,” Keelan said.
The Fairness Commission has identified a ride-hailing company that will be on site from July 10-15.