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Bengals, beauties and more in store for 2017 Putnam County Fair

By Clint Thomas, Metro Reporter
Brunon Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tigers will perform at the 2017 Putnam County Fair in Eleanor. Courtesy photo
The 2017 Putnam Fair Teen Queen Kayleigh Dawn Hayzlett (left) and Fair Queen Beth Nunley. Photo by Ed Conner
Lay
Combs

You may want to reserve some vacation time now to allow yourself all the time you need to visit the 2017 Putnam County Fair this summer.

As ever, the popular festival will be held at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Eleanor. And, as always, there are plenty of attractions for all ages and tastes amid the many 4-H exhibits, contests and sales that will be held throughout the week.

This year’s fair is scheduled for Saturday, July 8 through Saturday, July 15. Reigning over the weeklong festivities will be the 2017 Putnam Fair Queen, Beth Nunley, and the Putnam Fair Teen Queen, Kayleigh Dawn Hayzlett.

Applications for the Fair “Miss” and Pretty Baby contests are available at the fair’s website, putnamcountyfairwv.com.

The Pretty Baby Contest will be held on Sunday, July 9. The registration fee, through June 24, is $30 per entrant. Afterward, the registration fee is $40. Age divisions are birth to 12 months and 13 months to 48 months.

The winner and two runners-up in each division will receive a trophy. All contestants will receive a participation ribbon.

The “Miss” contests will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 8. The registration fee through June 24 is $30. After June 24, the registration fee is $40 per child.

“Miss” categories are: Tiny Miss (4 to 6 years old), Little Miss (7 to 10 years old) and Junior Miss (11 to 13 years old). Contestants are required to be Putnam County residents and must make at least one personal appearance during the fair and during her reign.

One winner in each age group will receive a crown, a trophy and a banner. Two runners-up will receive a trophy and banner, and all contestants will be given a participation ribbon.

For more information about the contests, visit the website or contact April Hayzlett at 304-382-1546 or April.B.Conner@erac.com.

Hayzlett, who is director of the pageants, said the Putnam Fair Idol competition will return this year, for the fourth time. Three categories will compete: Pre-Teen Idol (ages 8 to 12), Teen Idol (ages 13 to 19) and Adult Idol (20 and older).

Putnam Fair Idol rules and entry forms are also downloadable from the fair’s website. The registration fee is $25 before July 7 and $35 thereafter. For more information, call Teresa Harmon at 304-419-5393 or Desiree Black at 304-380-6085.

Hayzlett said other Putnam County Fair favorites, such as ATV and motocross competitions, truck and tractor pulls and gospel concerts, are also being scheduled and daily admission will be $10 for ages 5 and older. Those younger than 5 will be admitted free. More information about tickets -- including season tickets and purchase outlets -- can be found on the website.

Stage musical entertainers on tap include Brandon Lay on Saturday, July 8 and Luke Combs on Sunday, July 9.

Singer/songwriter Lay, a Tennessee native, has pursued a country music career since moving to Nashville after college graduation in 2010. In 2013, he signed a publishing contract with Warner/Chappell. His songs have been recorded by several country musicians, such as Cole Swindell, who recorded Lay’s “Home Game” for his latest album. As a performer, Lay has toured with artists such as Old Dominion, The Eli Young Band, Jake Owen and Ronnie Milsap.

Combs, 26, hails from Asheville, North Carolina. He moved from Asheville to Nashville in 2014 to intensify and solidify his country recording career. His June 2015 release, “Hurricane,” ascended to the iTunes Country Charts Top 10 and the Billboard Hot Country Top 20. “Hurricane” is featured on Combs’ debut album, “This One’s for You.”

Tuesday, July 11 through Saturday, July 15, Brunon Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tigers will perform at the fair. A third-generation tiger trainer who grew up in a circus family, Blaszak has performed with Sumatran, Siberian and Bengal tigers his whole life. During their frenetic shows, the tigers demonstrate choreographed leaping, dancing, jumping and tightwire walking, while each performance contains a conservation message for its audience.

For updates and additional information regarding the Putnam County Fair, call 304-533-3132 or visit the fair’s Facebook page or website.

The Putnam County Fair was incorporated in 1979.


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