Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chatham County Fair

I know the State Fair is right around the corner and you might be feeling a bit of a longing and yearning...looking forward to fried foods, agricultural competitions, and fair rides. Next year remember that the Chatham County Fair is also in our area, at the end of September, and worth a stop!

This fair was small yet because of that was navigable for a family, safe, and cheap.

DH and I enjoyed our visit here and also really appreciated the history behind it. This was the 61st fair, it has been going continuously, rich in history, since then. The Chatham Journal writes:

"In 1950, the Fair allowed prominent members of local African-American communities and county agricultural agents a venue to spotlight the production of goods, skills and crafts they'd helped hone in rural black Chatham County. Local families from all over the county had a safe, friendly place to gather and visit at this much anticipated annual event."

This is a fair that has added to Chatham County's personality for decades.

Like I said, the fair was small yet had what we needed to enjoy for an hour or two, especially for a toddler. Prices are reasonable for entrances, too, at only $4 for adults to get in; $3 for kids 6-12; and kids 5 & under were free.

Once in the fairgrounds, there was a rec hall filled with the winning entries of arts & crafts from quilts to photographs to kids crafts, jams and jellies, plants, vegetables, and more.

In the large meadow behind the rec hall was a stage featuring music all day, mostly with local talent. They really do a great job of lining up a lot of musical talent here and engaging local youth. Each year, as well, the planners of the fair try hard to plan various fun competitions like ice cream churn offs, watermelon and pumpkin contests, and Bingo.

There were a few concession stands where you could get fried food (of course!), sno cones, and cotton candy.

There were some fair rides, but not many. Really just one zipper-like ride (smaller, though, so kids of all ages could potentially ride) and a scrambler. C was really entertained on the train ride. This was a tractor pull set up and created to be a train. We sat in the caboose and rang the bell all around the fairgrounds. Most of the kids, though, were spending time in the bounce houses.

All of these fair rides cost money to enjoy. We had to purchase tickets in advance, which were $1 each. Each ride was 3 tickets. Parents rode free with their kids.

If that ended up being still more than we wanted to spend, though, there were plenty of free entertainments around. The Chatham County Partnership for Children had a tent out with a lot of offer. There were sand and water tables, an infant's area, painting, playdough, tattoos, and drums to bang on.

We also had a really good time looking at the old tractors (original John Deere tractors from the 1950s that were in fabulous shape) as well as the animals on display. The animals to be looked at were the winners at the fair, as well, so were beautiful! The pig was huge and the rooster was gorgeous.

This fair was really cute. It felt like a true agricultural fair and not a staged event, so we were really impressed. Again, you might not be able to spend more than 2 hours there, but given how affordable this was we had no problem with that. C had a blast and we were so happy to have a fun fall afternoon here.

Chatham County Fair
annually end of September/early October


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