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‘Let’s All Go To The Fair!’ The Marion County Fair runs through Sunday, May 21st

It’s back and earlier than years past! The Marion County Fair is underway starting this evening and running through Sunday, May 21st at the fairgrounds in Jasper (located behind the Dairy Queen and adjacent to the Jasper City Park). Despite the heat today, this afternoon and evening’s weather looks great for checking out the sights and sounds on opening night at the fair!

There’s plenty to see and do this year, with several special events, the local beauty pageants, 4-H events, and of course…the carnival and rides! After a very noticeable absence last year when the carnival company that was booked for the fair backed-out at the last minute, the rides are back and bigger than ever for 2017!  Including a Ferris wheel, fun slide, bumper cars, tilt-a-whirl ride, carousel, carnival games and much more.

Ferris Wheel is set up and ready to go for riders…

Along with the carnival rides and games is other great events taking place about the fairgrounds. See local commercial and judged exhibits, take in the sights, sounds, and great flavors this year, too! Food from vendors like Main Event includes tempting items like the ‘Walking Taco’, Monster Taters, nachos, ‘Brisket Sammich’, fresh-squeezed lemonade and more. Other vendors have fried pickles, hot dogs, and sweet delights such as cotton candy available. Local vendor, McElroy’s Shaved Ice, is also on hand to offer up cool treats to fair-goers with their many delicious flavors of Hawaiin style shaved ice at this year’s fair.

After Wednesday’s opening ceremonies, KOI Drag Racing, based out of Odenton, Kentucky, will be heading up the drag racing event in the arena beginning at 5:00 pm with eliminations at 7:00 pm. Classes include those for kids, ATV and dirt bikes, modified and open classes. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children, which includes admission to the fairgrounds and drag races. Unlimited carnival rides armbands are $15 for Wednesday.

Thursday night is the 4-H Fairest of the Fair Pageant for participants age 2-16, sponsored by the UT-TSU Extension office in Marion County and your local 4-H program. This takes place on the fairgrounds main stage beginning at 6:00 pm. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children, and unlimited carnival rides armbands are $15.

Plenty of tasty foods and treats available this year…

Friday night is the 2017 Miss Fairest of the Fair for contestants age 16-20, and 2017 Senior Ms. Fairest of the Fair pageant for those 60 years or more young. Those will be held on the main stage at 6:30 pm. Admission to the fairgrounds on Friday night is FREE with a canned food donation to the Marion County Foodbank. Unlimited carnival rides armbands are $18 for Friday night.

Saturday is a full schedule of events with the 4-H Pet Show sponsored by local veterinarians, Dr. John Raulston from Seqautchie Valley Animal Hospital and Dr. R.E. Kirk and Kirk Veterinary Clinic. Classes include small and large dog, domestic cat, livestock species, reptile/fish/amphibian, other species, and costume class. Cash awards will go to the 1st and 2nd place winners. All pets must be leashed, in a cage/crate, or otherwise properly restrained. Registration for the show is 4:00 pm with the show at 5:00 pm. At 7:00 pm in the fairgrounds arena

The ‘Fun Slide’ looks like plenty of fun for the young and young at heart!

Following that is ‘Freestyle Madness’ — a BMX spectacle sure to amaze all ages! The event is presented by Solution Action Sports and begins at 7:00 pm in the arena. Admission for Saturday is $10 for adults and $7 for children which includes admission to the fairgrounds and the Freestyle Madness show. Unlimited carnival rides armbands are $18 for Saturday night.

Sunday come out for all the fun that is the Marion County Fair…food, exhibits, entertainment, and the carnival rides! Admission to the fairgrounds on Sunday is FREE with a canned food donation to the Marion County Foodbank. Unlimited carnival rides armbands are $15 for Sunday.

The bumper cars and carousel sit, waiting for eager riders…

The Marion County Fair, which has traditionally been held in August, moved to a later date in September last year. That proved to be a better fit with the weather conditions; however, other issues that came about made officials decide on the earlier dates for 2017. They say the earlier dates will provide a better chance for dry weather allow them to book a quality carnival provider and other programs and events such as this year’s Freestyle Madness BMX show and the KOI Drag Racing event which will open the fair tonight.

Other programs and presentations in past years of the fair have included live and local wrestling shows, a demolition derby, and a country music talent showcase contest similar to American Idol. Organizers say that while some events are tried and true favorites, you have to keep coming up with new things to keep people coming back. And those new forms of entertainment including the carnival are constantly changing, evolving, and booking shows and events all across the region and country, so nailing down dates ahead of time are important. That’s why they say a change was needed to allow for the needed weather improvements and better availability of entertainment.

For more information about the Marion County Fair, including the complete schedule of events and other important info, visit www.MarionCountyFair.com or visit their Facebook page for daily updates and timely information (including weather information, if needed) at www.facebook.com/marioncountyfairtn.

We’ll see YOU at the Marion County Fair!

 

 

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