CLERMONT - When the annual county fair is mentioned, “exotic” isn’t usually the first word that comes to mind. But this year, it couldn’t be more appropriate.
The main attraction at the Bullitt County Fair, which will take place June 13-18, is Eudora Farms, who will host a petting zoo, camel rides, and interactive and educational shows.
Eudora Farms, a family business, is based in North Carolina and is home to over 200 rare animals from around the world. They showcase the animals at fairs and other events across the nation.
“We have invested a lot of time and money into this attraction,” Jimmy Anderson, president of the Bullitt County Fair Board, said. “The zoo is our main focal point this year.”
The zoo will take the place of the horse show and will be located at the same site. The horse show did not have enough spectator participation to continue, Anderson said.
He is anxious to see the turnout for the exotic zoo, which is included in the general admission price and is open Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. until close and Saturday noon until close. Camel and pony rides are available for an extra charge.
“We want to know if people like it,” Anderson said. “We’re counting on word of mouth to know if we should keep it for future years.”
Bruce Thomason, the director of publicity for the fair, was also excited for the zoo.
“It will be great for the young folks, but also the whole county, because it’s a family show,” he said. “It’s going to be very educational too.”
Kissel Entertainment will provide the midway rides. The newest ride addition is Atmos Fear, a free fall from 90 feet with speeds that reach up to 50 miles per hour.
“We will have more thrill rides this year than we have before,” Thomason said.
The Vocalist of the Year contest is another highlight of the fair, showcasing singers from across the county. Judy Nevitt, Bullitt County vocal coach and employee of the music department at the Ridgway Library, spearheads the contest every year.
“We like to show Bullitt County that there is really good talent, and people who could go to American Idol eventually,” she said. “This may be their next step.”
This is the sixth year for the contest, which runs all week long from 5 to 7 p.m. On Monday, the previous winners will hold a concert for guests. The rest of the week is devoted to tryouts, which are also open for the public to watch. On Saturday, the winners for teenage and adult categories will be announced.
Winners will have a chance to perform at the various locations throughout the summer. Adult winners will judge the contest next year.
Nevitt is still accepting contestants, and those interested can pick up a flyer at the Ridgway Library or call her at 773-6116.
All of the improvements have been made to increase attendance, which was affected by the economy and weather the past few years.
The board has added more walkways and better lighting throughout the fairgrounds, and changed location of some vendors to alleviate crowded areas.
The fair is located off of I-65 at exit 112 and Highway 245. For more information, call 543-4855. The fair will open Monday through Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m., though the rides on Saturday will not open until noon. Admission is $10, including midway rides and shows, and parking is free.