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Grant County Fair opens Monday

By Wayne Bryan

This article was published September 15, 2011 at 3:31 a.m.

— Three week s of county fairs in the Tri-Lakes region will come to a close on Sept. 24 when the Grant County Fair outside Sheridan ends with the final Hammertime Rodeo competition.

Even before the fairgrounds open for visitors on Monday, fair events will begin with the selection of the fairqueens on Saturday.

Sherman Lites, president of the Grant County Fair, said exhibitors will set up on Monday, and the first event, the Halter Class Horse Show, will open at 7 p.m. at the fairgrounds at U.S. 270 and Armory Road.

On Tuesday morning, the home economic, horticulture, field crops and education exhibits will be judged, and the first blue ribbons will be handed out.

In Sheridan, the annual Grant County Fair parade will get under way at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“The parade forms up at Sheridan Intermediate School and will go to the Grant County Courthouse Square,” he said. “The gates open at the fairgrounds as the parade begins.”

Lites said the parade is a lot more complicated today than it was years ago.

“It is expensive,” he said.

“They charge so much for a permit for the parade, and then there is insurance that is required.”

The youth livestock show, called the Pee Wee Showmanship competition, begins at 7:30 p.m.

Lites said several new carnival rides will be featured by Caulkins Midway, which has been putting on the carnival since 1985. On Wednesday night, all the rides will be $1 each.

“It’s buck night,” Lites said.

On Sept. 22, the major livestock shows will be held during the day at the livestock barn.

“The day begins with the swine show at 9 a.m. and goes to the cattle show at 6 p.m.,” Lites said. “Also that day, we will hold our second Best DressedShow for all livestock. Starting at 5 p.m., folks put clothes on their goats and sheep - all the livestock will be represented.”

Riders and ropers will compete in the rodeo, sanctioned by the Arkansas Rodeo Association, on Friday and Saturday nights. Lites said the event willfeature mutton busting and a calf scramble for the children on Friday before the competition.

Lites said fair officials expect between 4,000 and 5,000 people to attend the 2011 fair.

“We usually draw from all over Grant County and fromJefferson County, Benton and Malvern,” he said. “People know they can drop their kids off at the fair or bring their families, and it will be safe.”

Staff writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at (501) 244-4460 or wbryan@arkansasonline. com

Tri-Lakes, Pages 55 on 09/15/2011

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