Is it too early to start gearing up for the Athens County Fair?

Perhaps. However: school is out, summer is here, and fair organizers have announced all the entertainment and schedule details for the 2019 fair. Mark your calendars, but save the steakburger cravings for August.

American Idol star coming to fairgrounds

The featured entertainment this year is Bucky Covington, an American Idol finalist who will perform on Tuesday evening of fair week.

Covington finished eighth overall in Idol’s 5th season back in 2007, appearing on the show alongside other soon-to-be-famous artists such as Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee and Kellie Pickler.

Covington is a solo country music artist who has released several studio albums since appearing on the show. Covington will perform Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 8 p.m.

Two other entertainment acts are planned. Open Rail, a bluegrass band from Gallipolis, will perform Sunday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. The band features five musicians from Southern Ohio and West Virginia who perform a mixture of original music and bluegrass standards.

Following Open Rail on Sunday evening will be the Sandy Shortridge Band at 8 p.m. Shortridge is joined by three musicians who perform a series of original songs.

Fair mainstays returning

Many of the Athens County Fair traditions are back for the 2019 fair.

Returning events include:

  • Pari-mutual harness gracing on the opening Friday and Saturday
  • Tough Track on Monday
  • Rodeo on Wednesday
  • Demolition Derby on Thursday
  • Horse Pull on Friday
  • Outhouse races, human power pull and truck/tractor pull on the final Saturday

A full schedule of events is now available online at

The annual fair booklet

is expected to be available in July.

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