All the elements of a classic country fair -- dogs and ponies, sheep and swine, pies and watermelon -- will be in evidence next week at the 52nd annual Loudoun County 4-H Fair.

The fairgrounds will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday, with a horse and pony show leading off. Also on tap for opening day are a sports clinic, games, and judging of all exhibits except livestock and garden.

Livestock, poultry and rabbits will go on exhibit on Wednesday, when the fair opens at 9. Highlights of the day include the sale of prize-winning baked goods and the unveiling of the dunking machine. Talent show performances are scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m.

Fair-goers over age 60 will be admitted free next Thursday, when sheep, swine and cattle will be on display, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Watermelon- and pie-eating contests will start at 3 p.m., and a tractor pull is planned for children. Disc jockey Tuffy Warner will play music for dancing from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

The beef, steer and heifer show will open the activities at 9 a.m. Friday, followed by pony rides, dairy fitting and showmanship, and auctions of livestock, cakes and milk. The milk auction, which brought $3,000 for a "golden gallon" last year, has made the Guinness Book of World Records two years in a row, according to fair spokeswoman Jean Brown. Sterling resident Douglas Lawson made the high bid each time.

Saturday is clown day. A horse show starts things off at 9 a.m., followed by a dairy showing contest at 10.

A single ticket -- $2.50 for adults and $1.50 for children -- provides admission to all five days of the fair. The 4-H Fairgrounds is on Rte. 699, three miles west of Leesburg.

For further information, call the county extension office at 777-0373.