Official reports strong ticket sales for concert
If advance ticket sales for this year's Hartford Fair country music performers David Nail and Jason Michael Carroll are any indication, 2012 should be a strong year for the fair.
"David Nail is really up on the charts now," said Larry Hughes, Hartford Fair secretary and manager.
Hughes said roughly 500 tickets have been sold for the Aug. 6 concert, and he anticipates more than 800 people will attend. He said the only time sales were stronger was three years ago, when country music star Tracy Lawrence took the stage.
"He was our big draw," Hughes said.
Lawrence's concert sold more than 1,000 tickets.
"That was the best year, and this is running second; that's exciting," he said.
This year's 154th annual Hartford Fair runs Aug. 5-11.
Hughes said the new Figure 8 pickup truck race should boost Sunday night attendance.
"That should create a lot of interest, but we don't know," he said.
Unlike the country music acts, other events have no advance registration or ticket sales.
"The rough-truck contest is the day of the show," Hughes said. "We hope to have about 140 units sign up. The school bus race, motocross, demolition derby, horse pulling -- they just bring them in the night of the show. ... We've always had a good turnout."
Hughes said children should have a particularly good time.
"The rides look really nice this year," he said. "They're nice and clean, and they're bringing some different ones."
That includes a Ferris wheel, which the fair hasn't had for many years, Hughes said.
"They say it's all lit up and fantastic to see at nighttime," he said.
Hughes said he is a little frustrated because even after 153 years, the Hartford Fair still is considered to be "Licking County's best-kept secret."
He said many county residents still don't know the Hartford Fair exists. He hopes a continued focus on providing entertaining events and attractive fairgrounds would turn that around.
"It's a constant battle that we try to improve everything," Hughes said.
Among the presenters at the fair is the Licking County Health Department, which will offer information regarding public health and free tetanus shots. Free tetanus shots will be available from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at the health department's booth under the main grandstand.
Admission to the fair is $6 per day for ages 8 and up.