County fair kicks off Friday with community focus

Finishing touches placed on renovated grandstand.

CONCORD TWP., Miami County – The 2023 version of the Miami County Fair is getting underway with a focus on bringing the community together and the opportunities provided to area youth.

It has been a busy year at the fairgrounds north of Troy — including a shakeup in fair leadership, criminal charge against the former fair manager and several upgrades in facilities, including renovations to the more than 100-year-old grandstand.

This year’s fair will offer several new events, including mule races, wiener dog races being offered in partnership with the county Animal Shelter, a Monster Truck Show and A Time to Shine Show series for disabled children, said Michelle Green, president of the fair board.

After an investigation into alleged fraud that led to the indictment of former fair manager and board president Nick Shellenberger, the fair board reorganized itself to a structure that aligns with what other agriculture societies are doing, Green said. This includes having a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, all elected by the agricultural society’s board of directors. The charge against Shellenberger was dismissed earlier this summer by prosecutors who said state auditors were looking into the situation and charges could be filed later.

The finishing touches have been placed on the renovated grandstand in the past couple of weeks. The project, coordinated by WDC Group of Springfield, was contracted to Midwest Maintenance of Piqua.

The original contract of $3,391,600 grew to $3,501,127. Money for the project has come from the county general fund and county American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, dollars.

Work has included steel repair, structural repairs, removal and seating cleaning and reinstallation and, most recently, updated sounds and track lighting systems including installation of underground wiring. There’s also new fencing around the fairgrounds.

Green said the grandstand renovations will be beneficial beyond fair week. “The upgrades … gives us the opportunity to be able to rent the grandstand for outside events. While maintaining the history of the grandstand, the lights, sound system, etc., make it a more attractive venue,” she said.

These changes will allow the grounds to host more events and to grow the racehorse program, which, in turn, should bring in more income for the fairgrounds and county, Green said.

This year’s entertainment will include The U.S. Air Force Band of Flight on Friday night (Aug. 11), Julia Neville, the evening of Aug. 13. A Gospel Fest also is scheduled for Sunday. Other activities will include a rodeo, tractor pull, livestock scramble, demolition derby, axe throwing, petting zoo, butterfly exhibit and laser tag, among others.

Daily events also feature 4-H shows and related activities showcasing the work of local youth.

For more information on this year’s fair, which opens Friday, Aug. 11, and ends Thursday, Aug. 17, visit

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