Old Fashioned Fun at Middle Tennessee’s County Fairs
As sophisticated as we all may be, there’s nothing like letting go of the stresses of adulthood and rediscovering our inner child at the county fair. The carnival music mingling with squealing pigs and bleating goats is pure fun and is sure to put a skip in your step. If you don’t have a child to share this with, no big deal; just grab your most fun pals and pretend you’re back in childhood. Everyone expects you to walk around with cotton candy and a big grin on your face so don’t miss out on the chance.
This is the season you could actually plan every week around a different fair, so pull out your calendar and let’s take a ride for a closer look.
July 29 – August 3: Gallatin hosts this old fashioned county fair at the Sumner County Fairgrounds, kicking off July 29 with the Big Mule Show featuring about 70 mules.
The week-long fair is jam-packed with fun for the whole family, culminating with live music on Aug. 2 and a Walking Horse Show on Aug. 3. Admission is only $3, and free for children 8 and under. One of my favorite things is perusing all the blue ribbon winners; there’s livestock, homemade goods and crafts. July 31st is Children’s Day, and kids can compete in wheelbarrow races, sack races, beauty pageants and a pet show.
Mix it up with thrilling rides on the Midway, candy apples and powdery funnel cakes to satisfy every sweet tooth, and be sure to save your ticket stub for handsome cash prize drawings starting July 30. During the weekend, some lucky person will win $1000!
August 2-10 – Williamson County Fair is renowned for its high quality livestock shows at the Ag Expo Center, including Polled Hereford, Horned Hereford, Longhorn, Open Beef and Dairy shows. Check the fair website for the daily schedule.
Enjoy exhibits, displays and demonstrations for every imaginable interest. The activities are endless: Cooking classes, farm equipment demos, BMX bike tricks, piglets being born, craft demonstrations, cow milking, Native American dance, art workshops, beekeeping, livestock competitions, and fireworks every night at 10 p.m.
Tickets at the gate are $6 adults, $3 children 6-12, and free for 5 and under.
August 16-24 – Tennessee’s largest and longest running fair, the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon features different livestock events each day, contests, tractor pulls, sheep dog trials, wine shows, exhibits and demonstrations. Give yourself plenty of time to visit the photography exhibition and quilt show and numerous exhibit halls.
Step back in time in Fiddlers Grove Historic Village, where you can watch artisans at work and learn some of their secrets. You may be inspired to take up basket weaving, broom making or pottery. “Taste the Fun” is the theme at this year’s fair – and there are a multitude of tasting opportunities. Indulge in a little moonshine jelly, sweet corn dripping with butter, or fresh-churned ice cream – preferably after the wild rides on the Mighty Midway. Chill out with a cold drink while listening to toe-tapping Bluegrass or country music. Fireworks every night close out each day’s activities and leave you wanting to come back for more. Daily admission is $7 adults, $5 for children 6-12, and free for 5 and under.
August 26-31 – This year’s146th annual fair opens with an old fashioned parade through the main section of Springfield. The parade will be a mixture of local celebrities, local bands, community floats and classic cars.
September 6-15 – The Tennessee State Fair in Nashville has entertained folks since 1906 and showcases the best of Tennessee with an emphasis on agriculture, horticulture, heritage, education and entertainment. The major focus is on exhibits and entertainment.
Tickets at the gate are $8 adults, $6 seniors and youths (3-18), free for 2 and under.
Which fairs will you attend in 2013?