It's no secret that I love the county fair. Attending the Hamilton County 4-H Fair is one of my favorite summer activities. Not only does our local fair have family friendly fun and delicious food, but it also promotes community involvement, youth development and Indiana's agricultural heritage.

This year, the Hamilton County 4-H Fair opens on Thursday, July 20, but work leading up to the fair has been going on for months. The fair will run through Monday, July 24, at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. The 4-H auction will take place on July 25. Looking at the schedule, each day is jam-packed with exciting and fun activities.

If you are looking to get up close and personal with some furry friends, check out the animal exhibits and shows. You can count on seeing cows, pigs, chickens, goats, llamas, horses, rabbits, sheep, cats, dogs and more. Showing livestock at the fair is one of the many events 4-Hers participate in, and some will even go on to compete at the Indiana State Fair next month. There is also a pet parade for the younger kids on Sunday, July 23, where you can dress up your cats, dogs and any other pet you have and let them join in on the fair fun.

The county fair is a great place to indulge in some of our community's best food. From barbecue to elephant ears and milk shakes, you can expect many favorite Midwestern treats to be served. One of my favorites is always the chicken (or beef) and noodles that the ladies in the Homemakers kitchen serve. The Commercial Tent and the area surrounding it will have local businesses promoting their wares, so you will get a chance to see all the special deals they have available.

I'm willing to bet that a tractor pull probably isn't something you see every day. On July 22, you have the opportunity to see the antique tractor pull, and the goal for the winner is to pull a weighted sled the farthest. If you just can't get enough of tractors, there's also a tractor parade the next day. There is also a clogging exhibition, speech and talent contest, Robotics Challenge, and visitors to the fair can try their hand at walking a llama and watch the Farmers Olympics. The fairgrounds will also be filled with music each day.

Attending the fair is also a way to give back to the community. The Color Me Green Fun Run is a mile-long run around the fairgrounds, which colors you in 4-H green. You can run or walk your way through this event. With no winner or losers, this is all purely for fun. The $10 donation goes to the Hamilton County 4-H Education Fund, which supports positive development for young people in our community.

In an effort to raise awareness of hunger in our community and to help feed Hoosiers, Hamilton County is joining 34 other counties in the 2017 Indiana State Fair Farmers Care Food Drive Challenge. I encourage you to help this cause and donate non-perishable food items for those in need when visiting the fair.

Many of these events are made possible because of the Hamilton County Purdue Extension staff and Board, who I believe is the best in the State. The 4-H Council is a group of volunteers who oversee the operations of the fair. The Hamilton County Sheriff's department, Noblesville Fire Department and EMTs will be around to make sure everyone is safe and having a good time. And the Hamilton County Building and grounds staff will be on duty to make sure everything at the fairgrounds is running smoothly. These and many other volunteers and parents are dedicated to seeing that we have one of the best county fairs in the state. We thank you all and couldn't do it without your time and support.

I have been honored to serve on the Extension Board and the 4-H Council for many years. Working with the youth of our community is very rewarding and I hope you will be able to bring your family and friends to the fair to see all of their hard work.

For more information and a complete schedule of all fair events, visit Hamilton County Television will also be providing live video updates and interviews. Visit for entertaining reports from the Hamilton County fairgrounds.

See you at the fair, where there is something for everyone!

Kathy Kreag Richardson is a Republican State Representative from District 29, which includes Noblesville, and has served in the legislature since 1992. She also is the elections administrator for Hamilton County. You may contact her at