139th Troy Fair focuses on variety

TROY – Duane Andrews is a mixed knot of emotions watching his daughter Grace show her cow at the Troy Fair.

“I can’t stand still. It’s all a mix of nerves and butterflies … it results in me drinking a lot of Pepsi,” Andrews said with a laugh.

The Gillet farmer has been showing cows for as long as he can remember and seeing his daughters breaking into the dairy show world is watching the cycle come full circle.

“You excited for your daughter. You really want them to do well,” Andrews said.

The Andrews family was competing at the 139th Troy Fair’s open show for Holsteins on July 27.

The dairy show was just one of the many draws the fair had as it was winding down. According to fair President Cathy Jenkins the fair board emphasizes variety when it comes to attractions.

“We like to have a good variety with truck and tractor pulls, bullriding, and a big-name entertainment show in the grandstand,” Jenkins said. “We also try to keep things different everyday with the entertainment on the free stage and throughout the rest of the park.”

Jenkins reported that the fair had experienced above-average attendance on everyday except Wednesday, during which she says the extreme heat and later rain kept fair goers at home.

“Our attendance is right around 50,000 for the whole week,” Jenkins said.

This year the fair featured the musically styling of country superstars Big & Rich, which Jenkins said was an exceptional show.

“It was a great show. Probably one of the best shows that’s ever been here,” Jenkins said.

This year the fair had the added benefit of upgraded sound systems in several locations, Jenkins explained. New systems were installed in the dairy arena area, the grandstands and the exhibit halls.

A variety of vendors were present during the fair, offering a hodgepodge of wares as fair goers made their way down the midway. Vendors offered anything from dream catchers to sunglasses, hot tubs to farm equipment.

Fair food was in no short supply either with deep-fried Oreos, funnel cakes, hamburgers, pizza and one stand even offered stuffed pretzels.

Back in the dairy arena, Andrews beams with pride as his daughter Grace finishes showing her cow.

“She’s got a natural lead but we still want her to increase her skill-set,” Andrews said.

Grace, showing one of the family farm’s cows, won the Grand Champion red and white title in the 4-H show this year.

“It’s just like any other sport, and make no doubt about it this is a sport,” Andrews said of the dairy show. “You want them to have fun and work hard but you do occasionally want them to be on the winning end of things. It’s great to see her show and win with a cow that is family-farm bred. Anybody can go out and purchase a good cow but when you raise one and win … there’s nothing better.”