There are a lot of things that make Union County an attractive place to live and visit, and one of them is the Union County Fair.
Many communities no longer have a county fair and they are the poorer for it, especially when viewed in the light of the Union County Fair and its 103-year-old tradition of providing quality, wholesome, family-friendly entertainment. While it has always been a shining jewel in the life of our community, this year’s fair achieved a new level of entertainment that made it even more attractive, not only to the people of Union County, but to visitors from other counties, especially those no longer blessed with county fairs of their own.
First, there was this year’s marquee attraction, Rosaire’s Big Cat Encounter which thrilled fair goers with live performances by five tigers, a lion and liger. Night after night the big cats did balancing acts, jumped through hoops and, most impressive of all, walked on their hind legs at their trainer’s command.
Animals were also an important part of the other entertainment featured at the fair. There was Django the monkey who helped Jerry Brown make the “Phineas T. Waggs One-Man Vaudeville Show” a memorable treat. Then there was Humphrey the camel and Little Joe the wallaby and the other exotic animals of the Eudora Farms Interactive Petting Zoo who brought smiles of fascination and delight to the faces of children of all ages. The fair also stayed true to its agricultural roots with contests for cattle, sheep, rabbits and horses.
Human entertainers were also a big part of the show with singers and bands ranging from contemporary Christian artist Chris Sligh to local performers like Monroe Smith and the Bluegrass Boys taking the stage to make each night ring with music. The wrestlers of Trans South Wrestling provided their own brand of unique entertainment with wrestling legends familiar to fans of the sport adding a celebrity element to the action. And, of course, who could forget Boo Boo the Circus Clown whose creative silliness keep fair goers in stitches.
Then, of course, there was the rolling cash drawing each night. There was no winner until Saturday night when Rock Hill resident Ed Crowley won the $3,000 jackpot. York County has no county fair and so Crowley and his wife go to either the state fair or fairs in other counties. They chose Union County this year and it paid off handsomely for them. As might be expected, the Crowleys say they will be back for the 2012 Union County Fair.
We hope they are and we hope more people will attend the fair, not only next year but for many years to come. County fairs are a rare thing these days and Union County is blessed not only to still have a county fair, but to have one that can draw the kind of quality entertainment that made this year’s an especially memorable one. The Union County Fair is a special time and place, a venerable institution that still manages to move with the times to continue to provide the people of Union County and those from other communities with the kind of quality, wholesome live entertainment that is increasingly hard to find.
The Union Daily Times is proud to have played its part in promoting this year’s fair as we have its predecessors over the past century. We publicized it in the weeks leading up to its beginning and then kept it on our front page every day while it was going on. It was a great honor to cover the fair and we look forward to continuing to cover it for many years to come.
The Union County Fair has been around for more than a century and its longevity is a tribute to not only the fair itself, but the community it serves. We’re certain it will be around for another century and we’re looking forward to it and the joy it will bring each and every one of those years.