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Franklin County Fair Draws 40,000 Per Year

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HAMPTON, Iowa -- The 157th edition of the Franklin County Fair is underway in Hampton this week.

The fair annually draws 40,000 people total on the grounds during the week of the fair.

"We've got over 100 commercial exhibitors here on grounds," said Jon Baltes, Chairman of the Franklin County Fair Board. "We have a waiting list of people who want to be an exhibitor here."

The fair features 4H livestock showing and exhibits. Wednesday there was a horse show in a new outdoor show ring in the southwest area of the fair called Grandpa’s Farm.

The southwest part of the fair is also devoted to running old farm equipment, such as a case steam-powered tractor.

One of the biggest draws for the fair is the ice cream served. Last year, the fair served 18,000 cups of ice cream, or around 800 gallons of ice cream made. The ice cream is made the old-fashioned way with antique tractors supplying the power to turn several huge canisters all at the same time to keep the ice cream coming.

"The secret to making such good ice cream is all the volunteers we have," said Marcus Kofoot, who mans the ice cream operation.  "We have over 380 volunteer hours that need to be filled with this ice cream stand each year."

The fair also features a small 1880’s village called Pleasant Hill, after a civil war battle in Louisiana. Several Franklin County soldiers were killed in the Civil War.

"A number of the boys from Franklin County and surrounding area were killed in a battle in the Civil War," said Mari Ann Wearda, who works as the official Fair photographer during this event.

If you would like to know more about the Franklin County Fair, click here.

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