The 12th Annual Carroll County Agricultural Fair will get underway Wednesday, Aug. 24 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 28 on the grounds of the Southwest Virginia Farmer’s Market in Hillsville.
This year’s fair will offer several new tweaks and features. But one thing that remains constant is the ever-growing popularity of the fair itself.
“Last year, Friday and Saturday exceeded any previous year as far as attendance. It was outstanding. We ran out of parking room, which is a good thing,” said Teresa Sharp, Carroll County Ag Fair Coordinator. “It is growing in popularity and a lot of out-of-towners and North Carolina people came last year. It brings tourism to the area because we have people from Tennessee, people that get off the interstate because of the signage. It helps with the economy in the area. They stop and eat and look for something to do.”
This year’s lawnmower race will be put on by a different group than in the past – Rebels & Rednecks. The bench show and treeing contest has also added a field trail event, which will be at 3 p.m. following the open bench show and coon dog show. The carnival will be put on by the same company as last year, Brinkleys Entertainment, and there will still be one low gate fee, $5, which includes rides and anything in the fair except for food. Cost is $3 for 6-12 years and free up to five years of age. Additionally, a youth recipe contest has been added along with the existing adult contest.
The carnival ride schedule is as follows: Wednesday and Thursday – 5-10 p.m.; Friday — 5-11 p.m. Saturday – noon – 11 p.m.; Sunday – 1-6 p.m. The fair site is located near the intersection of I-77/U.S. 58, exit 14.
Some of the featured events during the 5-day event include:
* The Miss Carroll County Fair Beauty Pageant will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. on the fairgrounds. Any girl age 0 to 19 years and a resident of Carroll and adjoining counties can participate in the pageant. Crystal Adams is the pageant coordinator. She can be reached at (276) 730-3001.
* Corn maze. Everyone can enjoy the ride to the corn maze on the back of a trailer pulled by a tractor then finding their way through the maze. The corn maze is free and comes with unlimited access with paid gate entry fee.
* Barnyard. It will be filled with animals that you can touch and pet. The barnyard is open every day of the fair and during the Ag Education Days.
* Forestry Event. Starts Saturday at noon. This event has grown yearly and will feature six contests and lots of prizes. Events include cross cut sawing contest, stock saw contest, chainsaw contest (70cc and up), chainsaw contest (under 70 cc), log rolling contest and single buck sawing contest.
* The Rebels & Rednecks United Mower Racing Associaton lawn mower race will be held Friday, Aug. 26 beginning at around 7:30 p.m. There will be 12 classes with activities at intermission.
* The annual Horse Pull takes place Saturday at 7 p.m. and always draws a crowd.
* Wrestling matches will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. free with a paid fair admission. Some of the featured wrestlers include Boogie Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant, Iron Cross, E Z Money, Misty James and others.
* Sunday: Besides the wrestling, the sanctioned UKC bench show will begin at 3 p.m. and be followed by The Open Coon Dog Bench and Treeing Contest and a field trial. Horse show at 1 p.m. (registration and Cowboy Challenge at 11 a.m.); demonstrations will also be held throughout the fairgrounds all day.
Other events include include Ag Education Days, demonstrations, equipment displays, homegrown authors, livestock shows, Stockman’s Contest, Storytelling and music almost everynight.
For more events and information and full schedules, visit the official Fair website at www.carrollcountyvafair.org.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on [email protected]