The Delaware State Fair will begin tonight in Harrington with a few new features. Local entertainers will be featured nightly starting Friday. The fair runs though July 28 /
GARY EMEIGH/News journal file
The News Journal
Jul 19, 2012
Changes to the Delaware State Fair, which opens today for its 93rd year, are minimal and focus on improving the crowd experience and updating popular acts, organizers say.
Tweaks to the 2012 fair include concerts spotlighting local talent and a revamped emergency communications system.
This year, local acts will perform as part of the free Sounds of Summer Series, held at 9 p.m. daily starting Friday. Acts include Total Whiteout, the Delaware Army National Guard Rock Band, What Mama Said and others.
“We thought we’d try to showcase local talent, some of Delaware’s best,” said Danny Aguilar, assistant general manager of the fair.
A paging system will alert fair-goers to any emergency, foul weather or other announcements, Aguilar said. Attendees also can sign up for emergency texts at www.delawarestatefair.com.
Other changes reflect the popularity of the mainstay acts and exhibits of the fair, Aguilar said. For example, he said, the performance at the Giraffe Menagerie Petting Zoo has been modified to keep past viewers entertained.Guests seeking relief from the heat will welcome the addition of air conditioning to the Department of Agriculture’s Education and Commodities Building.
Offerings at the fair include culinary contests, a pig-kissing contest, a homebrew competition and a nightly parade, but Aguilar had a suggestion for those who want to get a real feel for the fair – head to the Dover Building.
“If you wanted to get the idea of the culture of Delaware, that building really showcases Delaware at its best,” he said.
Statewide talent also will be on display in the 4-H Building. Entries in 4-H competitions have risen over the past three years, said Doug Crouse, superintendent of the 4-H Building at the fair. This year may surpass 2011’s record of 10,000 entries, he said. And that creates a problem displaying the work.
“It’s a great problem to have,” Crouse said.