Maddie Caldwell is pictured as overall swine showman at the 2018 Highland County Fair. Changes have been announced for the 2019 fair. (HCP Photo/Halee Allen)
Maddie Caldwell is pictured as overall swine showman at the 2018 Highland County Fair. Changes have been announced for the 2019 fair. (HCP Photo/Halee Allen)
Plans for the 2019 Highland County Fair are underway, with members of the Fair Board voting Tuesday night to approve this year’s Junior Fair schedule. The 2019 fair will be reduced from its usual eight days, with the seven-day fair set for Sunday, Sept. 1 through Saturday, Sept. 7.

With one less day for the numerous fair activities, Junior Fair coordinator Jana Holbrook told The Highland County Press that there will be a number of changes this year, affecting the timing of everything from arrivals to shows to sales. However, all of the normal Junior Fair exhibitions, shows and contests will still be a part of the 2019 fair.

“We did not cut anything,” Holbrook said. “Everything was just rearranged, on the whole schedule.”

Not only did the Junior Fair Board keep all of the usual events, but this year they are adding one event, which will be held on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 5. “Day in the Ring” will grant special-needs 4-H members an opportunity to show animals at the fair.

Holbrook said that livestock will begin arriving at the fairgrounds Saturday, Aug. 31.

“That way on the first day of the fair, there will be animals on the fairgrounds for people to see,” Holbrook said.

One aspect of the fair schedule that will not be affected is the church service on the fairgrounds, held on the opening Sunday of the fair at 10 a.m. Even though that will be the fair’s first official date, Holbrook said that it will not interfere with any other junior fair activities.

“With it starting on a Sunday, having the church service at the fairgrounds was one thing that was brought up that was so important,” Holbrook said. “We made sure Junior Fair doesn’t have any activities until after the service. The church service starts at 10, and the first Junior Fair activity starts Sunday at 11:30 a.m.”

Swine Showmanship, which was formerly held in the early evening on the first Saturday of the fair, will now kick off events Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. On the other hand, the Junior Fair Queen/King Contest, which is usually conducted earlier in the day, will be Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m., followed by the FCS 4-H Style Revue.

Another major difference in the schedule will affect the sales, which will begin 30 minutes to an hour earlier and will also be organized so that there are approximately the same number of lots for each sale. Holbrook said that will especially help with Wednesday night’s sale, which has been significantly longer.

“We did choose to start the Wednesday night sale at 5:30 instead of 6, and Thursday’s chicken and rabbit sale will start at noon instead of 1,” Holbrook said. “The Friday night sale will be at 5:30 as well.

“We moved goats to Friday night because the sale on Wednesday was so long. That way, the lot numbers of animals that have sold in the past few years [for each night] is pretty much same. We tried to space it out so it’s close to the same number of lots each day.”

Another change is that the goats, which typically are shown in the morning, will have an evening show this year.

“Tuesday evening will now be the breeding goats and market goats show,” Holbrook said. “That’s one big change.

“The goats have never had an evening show, and they’re one of the larger species now. We wanted to give another species an opportunity to have an evening show.”

Holbrook said that the Junior Fair committee will be communicating with all area Junior Fair advisors, including FFA, 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts and FCCLA, to ensure everyone is aware of all the changes in arrival, show and sale times.

Now that the Junior Fair side of the schedule has been approved, the Senior Fair is working to finalize dates and times for their events, which will be announced in the coming months. Senior Fair Board president Mark Baldwin told The Highland County Press that the board is making plans and looking forward to this year’s fair.

“A lot of stuff is still tentative to be worked out, but the dates are approved, and everything is lined up,” Baldwin said. “We hope to have a wonderful fair.”

For more updates on the 2019 fair, visit