162nd Porter County Fair comes to a close
By Maria Amante firstname.lastname@example.org/648-3072 July 28, 2012 9:52PM
Sarah Bennett, 9, of Valparaiso, coaxes I Go By Jet, or Jet, to weave between the poles in the junior level llama public relations course during the last day of the Porter County Fair in Valparaiso, Ind. Saturday July 28, 2012. Saturday was Benneett's fist llama showing. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 30, 2012 6:31AM
VALPARAISO — The Porter County Fair came to a close on Saturday night after attendees feasted on fried delights, once-in-a-while treats like fried butter, Oreos, cookie dough, cauliflower and pickles, and skewered meats.
The fair, in it’s162nd year, featured several rides, games, and activities for attendees to enjoy: but a major attraction for fairgoers was culinary.
“Fair food is always good — once a year, it’s OK,” said Jesse Lazaro, a Lake Station man who attended the fair with his daughter, Savannah, 6. He said the pair enjoyed the rides and games.
The event’s attendance was on par with fair average, said Lori Neumeier, director and free-entertainment manager. Between 155,000 and 160,000 came to the fairgrounds during the 10-day event, she said.
“It’s been a great year with beautiful nights,” Neumeier said.
Fairgoers especially enjoyed the nighttime entertainment acts, which included Larry the Cable Guy, Luke Bryan, and the annual demolition derby. Every night fair attendees were thrilled by the Galaxy Girl, an aerial acrobatic act, Neumeier said.
Tori Dobrowski, 14, of Hebron came to the fair three times this year, and on Saturday, she was accompanied by her mother, Lisa Ziemniak, and some friends. The group passed the time watching baby pigs, with names like “Jennifer Lo-pigs” and “Nancy Pig-losi,” compete in a race.
“I’d never seen it before,” Dobrowski said. “It was really cool. We can’t wait to come back next year. You can’t get bored with the fair.”
The pig race exhibit also featured a swimming pig, which Dobrowski found especially entertaining. She and her mother enjoyed elephant ears at the fair, which she said was always her favorite.
“You can never leave the fair without an elephant ear,” Ziemniak said.
The animals were a major attraction for Ben Clubb of Portage, who made it to the fairgrounds twice.
He said he enjoyed watching the cows, goats, pigs and horses and was especially entertained by a llama beauty pageant, complete with obstacle course.
“It’s a fun event — everybody comes to the County Fair,” Clubb said.
During the week, fairgoers erupted into a flash mob, dancing to “Dancing in the Streets” and “Jailhouse Rock.” And on the first night of the fair, Katelyn Marak was crowned Porter County Fair Queen.