One of the most popular events of the final evening was the Tractor Pull in the arena area, which began around 7:30pm. Separated into 5 Classes (Hot Farm; 12,000lb-8mph; 12,000lb-Open with no P-Pump; 12,000lb with P-Pump; and the Truck Class) the power and torque-based competition brought out approximately 250-300 fans from the region. The goal for all divisions in the contest was to pull a weighted “sled” as far as they could within a certain time frame and/or speed restrictions.

After over two hours, the 1st place winners of each division were as follows:

Hot Farm: Henry DeBuisseret
12,000lb-8mph: Lewis McCrystal
12,000lb-Open with No P-Pump: Tyler Sandefur
12,000lb with P-Pump: Barry Sandefur
Truck Class: Shawn Lanham

After the Tractor Pull events were over, iSurf News spoke with the 2nd and 3rd place finisher in the respective 12,000lb-8mph and 12,000lb-Open with No P-Pump classes, Sam Hayden, to found out more on the basics of a Tractor Pull.

“You hook a tractor to a ‘sled,’ which is a mechanical box that comes up and applies weight to the tractor, and whoever can pull the sled against the resistance the farthest down the track wins,” said Hayden. “In some classes, speed is a factor, but in others it’s not limited. In particular, one class might be limited to 8mph, while another might not have any speed limit. I’ve been doing this for about 3 years just for fun.”

Another main event held at the fair’s final night, was the WFMW Talent Show, which began at 7pm and brought a crowd of approximately 125 people. A total of 15 talented contestants, which varied in age, showed up for the contest and preformed everything from musical acts to magic shows. In the end, though, 4 winners were chosen which are as follows:

1st Place: Bejamin Morelock
2nd Place: Melanie Neisz
3rd Place: Kevin Offutt
4th Place: Dakota Clayton

After the Talent Show had run its course, locals were also treated to several performances by the rock band, “Strick’n” in the Midway Building/Convention Center.  

There were also many booths setup around the thoroughfare and in the Ballard Convention Center as well. What follows is a partial list of those in attendance at booths on the final night: the Leukemia Foundation (Walk 4 Life) on behalf of local MNHHS sophomore, Lindsay Basham, who is currently battling Leukemia (visit for more info); Big Biting Pig Productions; Daymar College’s new Madisonville Campus; State Representative candidate, Ben Waide; NewWave Communications; United Methodist Church; Italian Ices; the Medical Center Ambulance Service; Cash Express on Center St.; Madisonville Mayor candidate, David Jackson; State Senate candidate, Jack Whitfield Jr.; County Attorney, Todd P’Pool; the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross; The Pampered Chef; HCCHS’s Bandboosters; and the Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni.  

Near the end of the final night (around 11:15pm), a group of approximately 500 locals and out-of-towners alike gathered for one of the Hopkins County Fairs oldest traditions: the Raffle Drawing. With help from the Fair Board, local law enforcement, and Miss Hopkins County, a purse of $1,100 was awarded to Brenda Oakley.

After many of the main events were over and people started packing up, iSurf News spoke with both the daughter and granddaughter of one of the Hopkins County Fair’s founders, Hailey Tyson and Cathy Dickerson, to get a little info on what the fair means to them as well as a little history.

“Well, the Fair began with Hanson Slaton, Harold Seibert, Morton Dickerson, and many other founders,” said Cathy. “I have been a ‘fair child’ all of my life, I’m 50 years-old, and now I’m on the Board. I’ve been on it since 1997. I perform various jobs with my daughter, Hailey Tyson. We work the gate, help people when they’re lost, help people when they’re sick, and we help to stop fights by calling the police. You know, there have been many people involved in getting the Fair drawn together. It was originally called the Hopkins County Fair, then it went to the Hopkins County Madisonville Fair, and now it’s back to being called the Hopkins County Fair. But it’s all been a generational thing in our family and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

“We try to be a very honest and open Fair,” said Cathy, “and we try to treat the Hopkins County people right because they’re the ones that keep the Fair going. For us to be able to bring the Fair here—it’s strictly from the people in Hopkins County and other counties people come from. As you can see, we’ve got new buildings, and we couldn’t have done that without the people of Hopkins County standing behind us. So, you know, we’ve got a lot to offer at the Hopkins County Fair. It’s fun, you meet people, see people you haven’t seen in years, and make new friends. I just love it and hope to see everybody out here next year.”

Cathy’s daughter, Hailey Tyson, told iSurf that, “I’ve been coming to the fair since I was born. You know, the people of Hopkins County are the backbone of the Fair, so I thank all the people for coming out and enjoying what we have to offer.”      

Luke Short
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Posted on 2/2/14
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