HICKSVILLE — With the Defiance County Fair now history, fair board president Jerry Sanders said the past week went very well indeed.

“The crowds were better than good, once we got the rain out of the way,” said Sanders, referring to the several small (and one large) spells of rain the fair received during the first part of the eight-day event.

Not only did attendance remain strong, but most grandstand events also did quite well, said Sanders, who gave special mention to the truck pull attendance.

Of course, the traditional demolition derby provided the usual high note for the end of the fair. “That night had an extremely good crowd,” Sanders noted. “It appeared to be better than normal. We had 62 cars there, which was up from about 20 last year.”

New fair attractions seemed to find their way as well, said Sanders, who gave special mention to the new facility between the agriculture hall and the merchant’s building. The new structure, meant primarily for senior and veterans’ activities, was the subject of a midweek dedication ceremony which attracted many elected officials, as well as county residents.

“The (All-American) petting zoo was a big hit as well,” he said, noting the rather unusual animals on display, as well as its pony rides and pig races. “It was a nice addition,” he noted.

Familiar favorites like the one-man band also found audiences, he said, as did newcomers such as Mr. Puppet and Eli the Magician.

As for the animals at the fair, Sanders believed the numbers to be comparable to years past. He especially noted Logan Coy, Mallory Peter and Baeden Hancock, who donated their proceeds to others in need of financial assistance. “I think that says something about the youth in our community,” he noted.

“Overall, we had a lot of positive comments,” said Sanders, who especially noted a great deal of praise for the upkeep of the fairgrounds themselves.

As always, the board has begun preparation for the 2020 fair, which Sanders said would likely include work at the Ag Hall and the campgrounds for starters.

Sanders believed the fair to once again be a real team effort from all concerned. “Everybody involved came together to get it done,” he said.

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