SIDNEY — Senior citizens were honored Tuesday, July 24, at the Shelby County Fair’s Senior Day.
Older patrons received free admission, and the first 500 to sign up were given a complimentary lunch, provided in part by a grant from Honda Corp., as well as sponsorship from Wilson Health.
According to Darla Wilges, administrative assistant for the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County, 22 raffle prizes were given out to seniors, courtesy of the local Senior Day business sponsors.
The Senior Center choir performed at 11 a.m., in the free entertainment tent, followed by the raffle and lunch.
According to Sharon Geissler and Freda Maxson, of Sidney, founders of the Senior Center choir, they formed the group six years ago.
“I had the idea because I knew Urbana-Champaign County Senior Center had one,” Maxson said. “They don’t anymore, but that’s where I got the idea from. I knew (Sharon) was a wonderful pianist and piano teacher, so we put a feeler out there.”
Maxson and Geissler said the choir program received great interest from members at the Senior Center from the start, and that the group has even served as a means of healing for many.
“It’s very therapeutic,” Geissler said.
“One women singing today had stopped singing when her husband died,” Maxson said. “(The couple) used to perform together, and she has a gorgeous voice. I knew it would be good for people, but I didn’t realize how healing. It’s been a wonderful thing for the people, and that’s why I do it.”
Just after the Senior Center choir performance, three attendees were honored.
Mary Dietz, of Fairhaven, formerly of Botkins, was given the award for “Oldest Lady” at the fair. Dietz was born on March 4, 1916, and is 102 years old.
Dick Adams, of Sidney, was deemed the “Oldest Gentleman” at the fair, at 98 years old, having been born on April 27, 1920.
Robert and Viola Fogt, of Sidney, were recognized as the longest-married couple. They wed 73 years ago, on Aug. 18, 1945.
Five-hundred free lunches were served to senior citizens, with even more in attendance.
Doug and Cheryl Barlow, of Sidney, said that while they didn’t make it in time to claim a complimentary lunch, they still enjoyed some fair food.
“I like the sugar waffles,” Cheryl said. “We ate ribeye steak sandwiches earlier, which were good, and some french fries. Doug still wants to get an elephant ear yet.”
Cheryl said she and Doug met over 50 years ago when she was 18 and he was 19.
“We met at a dance place, called The Other Place, in Celina.”
“I don’t even know if it’s there anymore,” Doug said.
The couple has been married for 48 years and now have three kids and nine grandchildren. Cheryl said they have been coming to the fair for years and rarely skip it.
“I like the displays,” she said. “I just went through the Fine Arts Building and I’m making my way to (Community Foundation Hall).”
“She makes her way, I sit,” Doug said.
“Yeah, he always finds a bench to park on,” Cheryl said.
Tuesday’s activities also included nature crafts at 3 and 7 p.m., in the Community Foundation Hall, harness racing at 5:30 p.m., in the free grandstand, ninja warrior practice and competition from 6 to 8 p.m., and the band Flashback in the free entertainment tent from 7 to 10 p.m.
Tuesday’s junior fair activities included the dairy goat show, followed by dairy goat showmanship, goat judging contest, and goat obstacle course, the horse show, the feeder calf show, the swine showmanship, and the market cattle show.
Junior fair showings on Monday included the rabbit show, horse show, dairy color breed show, junior Holstein show, dairy judging contest, 4-H club display and educational booth judging, sheep/market lamb showmanship and market lamb show.
Austin Pleiman was awarded Best of Show for the breeding rabbit contest; Kyle Evans received first place for the Champion Drive of the beef breeding show; Elizabeth Shatto showed the grand champion lamb; and Morgan Wemmer received first place in the first annual cavies show.
For the dairy cattle show, the following grand champions were named for the corresponding category:
• Blake Griewe, Ayrshire
• Madelyn Topp, Brown Swiss
• Amber Stangel, Guernsey
• Austin Borchers, Holstein
• Blake Griewe, Jersey
• Taylor Birkemeier, Milking Shorthorn
• Austin Borchers, Dairy Production Class
Monday was Veterans Day at the fair, as well as “Car Load Night,” sponsored by Area Energy and Electric.
According to the Shelby County Fair Office, 173 car loads of people entered the fair Monday evening, at a price of $30 per load.
The vehicle—a large truck and trailor—with the most people is estimated to have held over 100 individuals.
Wednesday is Industrial Day Two at the fair, sponsored by Detailed Machining-Silveus Insurance Group. Activities will include nature crafts at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Community Foundation Hall, the Dino Roar show at 5, 7 and 9 p.m., harness racing at 5:30 p.m. in the free grandstand, ninja warrior practice and competition from 6 to 8 p.m., and DJ Dancing with trivia and prizes at 8 p.m. in the free entertainment tent.
Thursday is Kids Day, sponsored by Buckeye Ford and Edison Community College. The Kids Day Program will be held at noon in the free entertainment tent, and a kiddie tractor pull will take place at 2:30 p.m., north side of the old bathrooms.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.