UNION COUNTY — Comedy, thrills, live music, food, livestock shows, a beauty pageant, a car giveaway, and races with monkeys riding on dogs are all part of this year’s Union County Agricultural Fair.
Since it was first held in 1908, the Union County Agricultural Fair has provided a showcase for local agriculture as well as other forms of entertainment and this year’s fair continues that tradition with some new additions and the return of a feature not seen since the 1970s.
The 2017 fair’s mixture of the traditional with the new was outlined Monday evening by Union County Agricultural Fair Association Director Paul Winters at the Fair Banquet. The banquet, which is held at the Union County Fairgrounds, kicks off fair week while honoring fair sponsors and other supporters. Winters said that this year the fair has a new logo, a new social media presence with a new website (ItsMyFair.com) and updated Facebook page, and, for first time in it history, has been branded. He said the fair has a new mascot, a rooster named Rocky whose name was selected through a children’s coloring contest sponsored by the local Subway restaurant.
Winters said that this year’s fair is about the senses with the offerings and activities that those in attendance will be able to see, hear, taste, and smell. He said that in addition to its traditions of livestock shows, live music, and special nights such as Church Night (Wednesday) which will feature live gospel music and Jacket Night (Thursday) with free admission for Union County students from 5-8 p.m. and the daily Flower Show, the fair will offer new forms of entertainment as well as some more recent additions including:
• Flores Thrill Show in which performers will ride motorcycles inside a metal globe.
• Banana Derby which Winters described as a race involving dogs ridden by monkeys.
• Lew-E’s Comedy Circus which is live comedy performed by Lew-E the clown.
• Red Dragon Lazer Tag
This year’s fair will also see a return of an event which hasn’t been part of the fair since the 1970s: a car giveaway.
Winters said that the last time there was a giveaway of a car at the fair was 1979. He said that this year’s fair has revived this feature of previous fairs with a 2012 Chervolet Malibu LT provided WT’s in Jonesville to be given away Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. Winters said that the admission fairgoers pay at the gate will give them a chance at winning the car. However, Winters said that in order to win a person must be present at the time of the drawing with their ticket stub.
The Union County Agricultural Fair gets under way today (Tuesday) and continues through Saturday. The following entertainment will be offered each day of the fair:
• Flores Thrill Show
— Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
— Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
— Thursday at 11:30 a.m. (5K Day), 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.
— Friday at 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.
— Saturday at 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.
• Banana Derby
— Tuesday at 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10 p.m.
— Wednesday at 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10 p.m.
— Thursday at 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10 p.m.
— Friday at 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10 p.m.
— Saturday at 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10 p.m.
• Lew-E’s Comedy Circus
— Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
— Wednesday at 12:30 a.m. for Senior Citizens and at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
— Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
— Friday at 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8 p.m.
— Saturday at 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8 p.m.
• Red Drago Lazer Tag
Each day from 5-10 p.m.
• Flower Show
Each day until 10 p.m.
Each day with plenty of chances for players to win prizes.
The fair also offers plenty of entertainment each evening including live musical performances. The events of each evening include:
• Opening Night
In addition to being Opening Night, this evening is “2 for $22 Tuesday” in which fairgoers can purchase two ride bands for $22 enabling two people to ride on all the rides at the fair all this evening.
The evening also feature the following live musical performances at the following times:
— Mellow Music from 5-6 p.m.
— Josh Lydia from 6-8 p.m.
— Shon Morris from 8-9 p.m.
• Church Night
Wednesday is Church Night with persons holding tickets distributed at local churches enjoying free admission from 5-8 p.m. The holders of the tickets can also purchase Ride Bands for $4 off the regular $20 price from 5-8 p.m.
Church Night will feature a Gospel Concert beginning at 7 p.m. and featuring performances by Adam Crabb, Terah Crabb-Penhollow, and The Bowling Family.
Earlier in the evening, the following performers will take to the fair stage:
— McBeth Choir from 5:15-6:15 p.m.
— Donavan Wells from 6:30-7 p.m.
• Jacket Night
Thursday is Jacket Night which features free gate admission for all Union County school students from 5-8 p.m. Jacket Night will also have the $4 off special for Ride Bands from 5-8 p.m.
The following musical acts will take to the fair stage that evening:
— Jeremy Wheeler from 5-6:30 p.m.
— Vincent Downing from 7-8 p.m.
— Joker’s Habit from 8:30-11 p.m.
On Friday, the musical offerings will begin in the afternoon and continue throughout the evening with the following performances at the following times:
— Music by Todd from 3-6 p.m.
— Norman Johnson from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
— Travis Smith from 8-10 p.m.
Ride Bands will be available for purchase for $20.
• Car Giveaway
Saturday will be the night the 2012 Chervolet Malibu LT is given away. The winner will be announced at 8:30 p.m., but will have to present to collect their prize.
The day will also feature a Beauty Pageant from 3-5 p.m. on the fair stage.
The pageant will be followed by these musical performers:
— Monroe Smith and Band from 5-7:30 p.m.
— Quest from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
The day will also feature Ride Bands for sale for $18 from noon-5 p.m.
True to its agricultural roots, this year’s fair will have the following livestock shows at the following times on the following days:
— Beef on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
— Pullet on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
— Lamb on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
— Dairy on Thursday at 6 p.m.
— Goat on Friday at 6 p.m.
Today is the last day to purchase advance ride tickets for $15 each. The ride tickets are good any night of the fair for all rides. For more information on where you can purchase these tickets go online at ItsMyFair.com.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.