Established: Before 1950
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Poor Jack Amusements
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
With a non-continuous history that dates back to before the Civil War, the Mercer County Fair has solidified itself as part of the fabric of Ohio's legacy. As it did more than 160 years ago, the event showcases and rewards entrants for what judges deem the best agricultural products and techniques, with awards going out to everything from the best steer to the finest homemade pickles to whichever beefsteak tomato looks best in a bathing suit. But the fun extends far past what's going on in the grandstand. As both kids and adults visit animals and learn about farming, others participate in a slew of activities that have ranged from dachshund races to amusement-park rides and ATV demonstrations. And, in 2014, the fair will also count country artist Rodney Atkins as well as the Swon Brothers from NBC's The Voice amongst its live musical acts.
Wear white, and be prepared for that shirt to never look the same. That's just about the only rule of the Color Blaze 5K, a technicolor event that's a little different than the standard run. For one, contestants don't have to run at all—in fact, they can mosey, lollygag, skip, crawl, jog, and backflip their way along the course. Rather than determining the best time, the non-competitive race is about the experience itself. At each successive mile, Blaze Zones powder participants in biodegradable—and even edible—colors, creating an army of fleet-footed Jackson Pollocks. Proceeds from the event benefit local charities, and an afterparty welcomes the newly prismatic to dance the day away in their freshly illustrated get-ups.
The Wapakoneta Firecracker 5K unites racers in the name of healthy habits and a healthy community. Hosted by the Friends of the Wapakoneta Public Library organization, the annual race sends participants galloping around Wapakoneta in an effort to promote fitness and well-being among all community members. The 5K's proceeds have an impact long after the last racer has crossed the finish line, as they get funneled into such efforts as summer reading programs, outreach programs, and youth events.