High Wire Act, Demolition Derby Changes Part of Dayton Fair


By: Ryan McLaughlin

The 134th Dayton Fair officially begins today, August 8 and will run until Sunday, August 17.

The main exhibit building entries start being received today at noon, at least those that are not livestock.

Judging will begin tomorrow at 9AM, as a pre-fair event.  At 10AM, the antique tractors will be having a tractor pull.

All livestock entries will be received on Sunday, at 7AM, and all animals except steers will be weighed when unloaded.  All steers will be weighed at 5PM.

Officially, the fair begins on Monday, August 11 at 3PM.  Rides, however, will not be open until 5PM.  Day passes are $8 and weekly ground passes are $15, but exclude rides.

Larry Marshall is the current president of the Dayton Fair Board.  He has been on the board for three years, although his father was on the board for 20 years.  He said that the biggest change to this year’s fair is a cell tower.

“What’s really exciting (this year), we have a temporary tower here,” he said.  “A temporary cell tower that will serve Verizon customers, so the cell service will be a lot better now.  We still have boosters in various locations for various cell providers.”

Marshall said that he worked with Commissioner Chair David Battaglia and Armstrong County 9-1-1 in order to obtain the tower.  He also added that the fair was working on redoing one of the barns and adding some other units for the 4-H.

“The young people in 4H, it’s an education for them,” he said. “Someday, we might need the young people to take over our positions as running the fair.”

Marshall talked about some of the acts lined up for the fair.

“We always have different acts here,” he said.

One of those featured this weekend is the Pirates of the Columbian Caribbean, a high wire act.  He also mentioned that there would be elephants brought in, as well as a fireworks show by the Starfire Corporation.

Prizes are in-store for those participating in the demolition derby this year.

“Our purse has been raised for demo derby on Monday night and Friday night,” said Marshall.

Monday’s demolition derby will begin at 7:30PM.  This demo will be specifically for two wheel drive mini vans and compact cars.  The Feature payouts will be $2,500 for first place and $1,500 for second place.

In addition, there will be heat payouts, based on a minimum of 15 cars per heat, with officials determining each heat.  Heat payouts will be $600, $250, $250, and a $100 Fan’s Choice.

Next Friday, the demolition derby begins at 7:30PM.  The pits will open at 4PM and close at 7:15.  First place will win $2,000 and second place will win $1,000.  In addition, there will also be heat races, with the last three cars running receiving $250 each.

Fans can also vote for their favorite car, with that driver winning $100 for Fan’s Choice.