Under the hot sun at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds in Park Township, families were kept entertained from morning to late afternoon with the annual Children’s Day. Kids got their pick from a variety of eye-grabbers and attention-getters: pedal pulls, a display for emergency vehicles, mascots roaming the area, pie eating contest, Ronald McDonald magic show, Ronald McDonald meet and greet, kids music with Ed VerSchure, and a wood project.
Brian Dykema, who has been on the Ottawa County Fair Board for 13 years, said McDonald’s has been a part of the Children’s Day at the fair even longer. Ronald McDonald’s magic show and quick wit has always drawn a crowd, Dykema said.
This year, McDonald’s brought a street team to give away food samples, games and prizes. A camping weekend was the ultimate prize for folks to try to win. Boys’ and girls’ bikes were also given away Tuesday.
Dykema said his favorite part of working at the fair is seeing the kids grow up and experience each fair feature at a different stage of life.
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At one activity, 24 small blueberry pies were lined up along the stage awaiting hungry mouths to devour them. Max Demars and Dallas Hoogeveen — who were the winners of their age groups — wiped blueberry pie debris off their face and claimed their prizes.
After the pie eating, a spontaneous dance contest took place under the tent to burn off some of the sugar-fueled energy.
Some kids were showing off their animals at the 4-H barns stationed around the grounds, but they also took in some of Tuesday’s fun. After showing their chickens and ducks, Zoe Streiff, 10, and Marie Nichelson, 13, watched the magic show. The girls said their favorite part of the fair is playing with the animals when they weren’t showing them to crowds.
Zoo animals — including camels, goats, llamas, lizards, kangaroos and turtles — were a huge hit with the kids roaming the fairgrounds on Tuesday.
The Ottawa County Fair continues through Saturday at the fairgrounds, 1286 Ottawa Beach Road on Holland’s north side.