By Kristin Rover
Clermont County residents lined Broadway and Main streets in Owensville July 21 for the Clermont County fair parade, the kick-off to fair week.
The parade featured dozens of participants and floats marching the streets of Owensville.
From the Shriners driving micro cars, to the local high school marching band, participants entertained hundreds of people who came out to watch the festivities.
“It just reminds me of when I was a kid,” Karen Dieckmann, of New Richmond, said about the parade.
Dieckmann said she was raised in Owensville and got to watch the parade and attend the fair growing up. Now, Dieckmann attends the parade with her daughter, Kristin Hewitt.
“It’s a family thing,” Hewitt said.
Hewitt said it has become a tradition to come to the fair and the parade, and now she brings her children as well.
She said she enjoys the atmosphere of the county fair.
“I don’t think people get to enjoy the small town things anymore,” Hewitt said.
Carolyn Kramer, of Eastgate, said this year is her first year attending the parade.
“This year we decided to bring the grandkids,” Kramer said.
Kramer said they have attended other days of the Clermont County Fair before, but never the parade. She said it was really fun to attend.
“I loved the water cannon,” Kramer said about one of the parade participants. “That was awesome.”
Later, Clermont County Fair Board President Jerry Bridges officially opened the 2013 annual fair during a short ceremony.
“I have the honor this year of being elected president,” Bridges said.
Bridges said the Clermont County Fair has been thriving even while other county fairs have been suffering in recent years.
Bridges introduced members of the fair board who have been working all year to plan the fair. He also introduced local commissioners and state representatives who support the fair each year.
Clermont County Commissioners Bob Proud and David Uible, State Representative Doug Green, and representatives from the offices of Auditor Dave Yost and Senator Rob Portman attended the ceremony.
Clermont County Commissioner David Uible said this is the 164th year for the Clermont County Fair. He said the fair began in 1849, which was over a decade before the Civil War.
“And it didn’t stop,” Uible said about the fair. “It’s quite an institution.”
Uible thanked some of the sponsors of the fair, including Sam’s Club, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Jeff Wyler, and several fair board members.
“That is what keeps this going,” Uible said about the donations and support from the community.
Uible said he has been coming to the fair and has watched his children participate in various showmanship classes.
“It’s a way of life unlike any institution you find anywhere else,” Uible said.
State Representative Doug Green said he is looking forward to spending time at the fair this week.
“I came to be a part of the celebration of the Clermont County Fair,” Green said.
Bridges said it is great to have the support of county and state officials.
He announced the opening of the 2013 Clermont County Fair which will run from July 21-27 at the Clermont County Fairgrounds in Owensville.
For more information about the fair, or to view a schedule of events, visit www.clermontcountyfair.org.