posttrib
THORNY 
Weather Updates

Porter County Fair draws larger crowd

McKaylTucker 14 Porter Township gets ready head arenTuesday with her horse Red during Porter County Fair. | Amy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

McKayla Tucker, 14, of Porter Township, gets ready to head to the arena Tuesday with her horse, Red, during the Porter County Fair. | Amy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 52512249
tmspicid: 19456199
fileheaderid: 8847547

Learn more

The 163rd annual Porter County Fair continues through Saturday at the Porter County Fairground, 217 E. Division Road. For a schedule and more information, go to www.portercountyfair.com.

Updated: August 25, 2013 6:28AM



Brookelyn Ellrich and Julia Romanov, both 12, like coming to the Porter County Fair — a lot.

By Tuesday, the Valparaiso friends were on their third visit, and their exploits included the sold-out Hunter Hayes concert opening day of the fair on Thursday and riding the midway’s newest attraction, the 125-foot high Speed.

They dished on their faves, including the pigs, and the food, though Brookelyn preferred fried treats (Oreos and funnel cakes) and Julia likes ice cream.

“We just come to hang out,” Julia said, as the two stood outside the TSC Barnyard and washed cotton candy off their hands at a portable sink.

Lots of other folks are coming to hang out, too, which is good news for admissions. Because admission is free before noon, fair manage Kevin Hannon said officials go by dollars instead of people in calculating attendance.

“Our admissions are up roughly $24,000 at this point over last year at the same time,” he said, adding the figures, the most recent he had tabulated, were through Sunday night.

Strong grandstand shows — including Hunter Hayes, a sell-out with 7,100 tickets — and good weather, despite heat early on, have helped bring folks through the gate.

“We’ve handled crowds well and the weather cooled off,” Hannon said. “We’re hoping the last five (days) can beat the first five.”

In the swine barn, 4-Hers brushed their animals before heading off to competition. On the midway, kids laughed as they got off the rides. Large stuffed toy bananas dressed as Rastafarians, complete with dreadlocks, knit beanies, and heavy-lidded eyes, hung by the carnival games.

Over at the horse barn, McKayla Tucker, 14, of Porter Township, got ready to compete in English equitation with her quarter horse, Red.

McKayla leased the horse for 4-H last year but liked the animal so much, she purchased it. The woman McKayla purchased Red from said the horse took her places she never thought she’d go in terms of horse shows and other competitions.

“We will see where he takes me,” she said.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.