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Friday in Franklin County: Franklin County Fair

Friday in Franklin

I’m proud to say that I live in the county that I was born and raised.  I left after high school, got my college education and was gone for a few years before coming back.  Part of my childhood was spent at the Franklin County Fair!  As a young child, my parents were always in charge of a food stand on the grounds.  When I was in middle school, my dad was on the fair board.  So, pretty much from the age of 3-27, I spent a week in July working at the Franklin County Fair.  I have the fondest of memories of the fair and since it’s fair week I figure it is the perfect feature for Friday in Franklin County!

The Franklin County Fair is held in Hampton, Iowa each July usually and runs Wednesday through Sunday.  However, you have to make sure to start the fair off with the parade on Tuesday night!  The biggest and grandest parade in the county, the fair parade features a large variety of floats!

There is so much to see and do at the Franklin County Fair that I could spend several days talking about it and write several posts.  Alas, I only have one Friday, so I decided to feature just a few of my favorite things:

Homemade Ice Cream

Of course fairs are a great place to find a variety of foods and while I love a good corn dog, there is one staple of the Franklin County Fair that is a must. The Homemade Ice Cream at Pleasant Hill.  Pleasant Hill is an 1800’s village built on the fairgrounds commemorating the battle of Pleasant Hill during the Civil War.  In was this battle in which many soldiers from Franklin County lost their lives.  Consisting of a barn, church, school, bank, saloon, and other buildings, there is also the Ice Cream Shop.  There you can purchase styrofoam cups of delicious homemade vanilla ice cream!  It’s churned right behind the shop by volunteers and is creamy and rich!  If you want to take it up a notch, grab a sarsaparilla from the saloon and make a root beer float!

Homemade Ice Cream from the Franklin County Fair

Homemade Ice Cream from the Franklin County Fair

Free

The Franklin County Fair is a FREE fair. This means you get FREE parking, FREE admission, FREE shuttles, and there is lots of FREE entertainment.  One of the other things that I’ve always liked about the fair is that it was free of alcohol sales until just a few years ago.  Now, you can purchase alcohol in one select spot in the grandstand and that’s it.  This really helps keep the focus on families!  If you don’t eat at the fair, you can take in almost the entire experience (grandstand excluded), see lots, be entertained, and never spend a penny!  Talk about being family focused!

Every great fair has a great midway!

Every great fair has a great midway!

4-H Focused

While visiting the Franklin County Fair you will instantly noticed that it is a 4-H (and FFA) focused fair!  From the cattle barn to the swine bar to the 4-H Exhibit building, there is a presence of 4-H and FFA almost everywhere.  Franklin County has always been very strong in both 4-H and FFA and this spills over to our fair.  There kids show a variety of animals and bring several projects!  You can stroll among the cattle, check out the bottle calves, and see which projects will be representing the county at the state fair level!  Keeping the fair 4-H focused also helps keep it focused on families!

While there is so much to see and do at the fair, being family friendly is obviously the highlight of the experience for me!  Grab your kiddos, friends, and family and head to the fair tonight or this weekend!  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Pleasant Hill at the Franklin County Fair!

Pleasant Hill at the Franklin County Fair!

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