Something familiar, something new at the State Fair

Kalie Morris, 4, poses with a baby chick during the opening day at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

HARRINGTON — Livestock, cotton candy, and live music — all the familiar sights and sounds at the Delaware State Fair are back in Harrington for its 99th time.

The annual 10-day attraction continues to host a series of agricultural competitions, carnival rides and fun for the whole family.

This year’s Delaware State Fair brings new events to the table.

The latest attraction held by the National FFA Organization at the Ag Ventures Tent is the Duck Dive.

FFA superintendent of the fair Mark Breding said the event is “to help promote the importance of habitat, the environment and to show- the importance of wildlife species such as ducks.”

Surrounding the brood at the Ag Ventures Tent is the corn pit, the cow milking simulator and a dairy bean bag toss.

Despite some stage fright from the ducklings, the overall turnout of the race was promising.

Another addition to the fair is Prehistoric Dinosaur Adventure at the Machinery Lot.

Katie Zevallos takes a selfie with two lamas during the opening day at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

This exhibit provides a walk-through of various types of dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The attraction is described by Bonnie Hamey as “something neat for kids to see.”

Also joining the trend of new events is Double Hump Ranch’s Hollywood Camel Show.

The show features Bactrian camels, native to Central Asia, performing tricks and various stunts.

The first camel presented named Chester performed acts similar to equestrian tricks with his trainer Arianna.

However, classics remain at the fair including the livestock competitions.

Sharon Larimore was preparing her Shropshire sheep Thursday for the sheep show on July 25.

“We have had sheep for 25-26 years,” said Ms. Larimore.

She said the competition looks for “confirmation that she is a meat breed — so they look for straight legs, wide hips, free character, light hair, short ears.”

Dino Constantinou with Grecian Delights cooks chicken on a grill during the opening day at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Beef exhibitor Brian Palmer has been attending the fair for 30 years.

His daughter Bailey is presenting pigs Ruby and Spot for her first time at the fair, continuing the family tradition that began when Mr. Palmer began showing pigs at age 5.

As a camper at the fair, Mr. Palmer noticed more people staying over at the fairgrounds.

“There’s more (campers) than normal here, to the point where they had to open up another lot out back.”

The grand musical event of opening day was the performance of country star Toby Keith and opening act Jimmie Allen of Milton, who also performs country music.

Concert attendee Debra Rice said she enjoys coming to the fair to see all the people.

“Seeing their smiley faces, the kids, they have a lot to do — it’s the highlight of the summer for them down here,” she said.

Fair volunteer of 13 years, Bonnie Hamey, claims her job of driving the golf cart is the best job of the volunteers.

“You meet a lot of people — everybody’s friendly. I love the camaraderie! You get to see everything — it’s a lot of fun.”

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