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Monday, May 2, 2016

Fun fare at the Fair

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Hurricane brightens up the night at a previous Bedford County Fair.
(T-G File Photo) [Order this photo]
The county fair is an American institution. An emblematic part of summer, the fair is a time for a community to enjoy food and fun, and showcase its talents and agricultural prowess.

There will be no exceptions this year, according to Bedford County Fair Association President Judy Gambill, who is promising the biggest and best fair to date next week.

Labor of love

This year marks the 15th annual Bedford County Fair, and Gambill has been heavily involved for more than a decade in an event that she cherishes. She began coordinating the All Pleasure Horse Show, then wound up on the fair's board of directors, and the next thing she knew she was serving as president -- a position she's held for nine years now

"I thoroughly enjoy it," Gambill said of planning the yearly celebration. "I love to promote and talk about the fair. It's a good, family-oriented, agriculturally-based fair."

Remaining agriculturally-centered is a focal point for the Fair Association and its board of directors. It's at the heart of the tradition of county fairs, and remains a viable piece of our local heritage and economy.

Real food source

"It's important for us to be agriculturally-minded," Gambill said. "A lot of folks don't know where their food comes from. Kids think that their food is made by McDonald's or Kroger."

In addition to the regular agricultural shows and competitions that are hosted at the fair each year, Midway Carnival will bring rides and games, and there will be a plethora of local performers taking the stage nightly Tuesday through Saturday.

"I hope we've got something to appeal to everyone," Gambill said. "We'd like to leave people with a good feeling."

When to go?

Perhaps the hardest thing for fair fans to decide will be which nights they will attend. Each night will have its own set of attractions and pricing points, all affordable and equally enticing.

Family passes will be available for $50 through Sunday at the Ag Center on Midland Road. This will cover four family members for the week, with each additional pass costing $20. Nightly passes are $5 each, and ride wristbands will be available for $10 on Tuesday, July 17 and Saturday, July 21. Children age 6 and under will be admitted free of charge.

Starting point

The fair's opening ceremonies will take place on Monday at 6 p.m. "Youth Night" is the theme for Monday, which will also feature karaoke on stage and a greased pig chase. Seven new Century Farmers will be honored at the opening festivities.

The Midway Carnival will set up shop on Tuesday, when patrons will be able to buy unlimited rides for $10 through a pre-sale special. Kait Jones and Kacey Smith will perform at 7 and 8 p.m., respectively.

Wednesday promises to be a big day for the fair, with senior citizens age 55 and older gaining entrance for just $2, and servicemen and women enjoying free entrance with military identification. A cornhole tournament, faith service, and Revival River with Sheila Shavers on stage are additional draws.

The always popular truck and tractor pull will be held on Thursday as usual, with a $10 admission. The pull will begin at 7 p.m., and Genevieve Allen will perform at 8 p.m.

Friday will feature the lawn and garden tractor pull, all pleasure horse show, Mary Grace Williams, and 4 Miles Gone in concert.

Saturday night will host a 4-H meat show, mule show and local favorite Rayz'n Cain on stage.

Ride the bull

Of course, you can't forget about the mechanical bull that will be throwing amateur cowboys Monday through Saturday, and all of the wonderful food vendors that will be on hand.

"We're looking to have a good fair," Gambill added. "Where else can you go for $5 and have such a variety of things to do and see?"

The T-G will keep you posted on the fair's highlights and schedule next week, so be sure to check back with us daily.A young visitor points out the ferris wheel at a past Bedford County Fair.