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You can take a spin on a carnival ride, try your luck at a midway game, take in a show and munch on all the kettle corn, candy apples and hot dogs you want at the Wilson County Fair this year.
“We’re looking forward to another great fair,” said Debbie Hill, fair manager. “I’m hoping that everyone who comes to the fair has a great time and enjoys coming.”
This year’s fair kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 18, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Wilson County Fairgrounds on U.S. 301 South.
Big Rock Amusements will be back for the fifth year, bringing popular midway rides and games, with something for the kids in the family as well as the teens and adults.
Other popular attractions will also be returning, including the helicopter rides, Agri-Puppets, Hansen’s Spectacular Acrobatic Sensations and Close Encounter of the Exotic Kind.
Local kids will compete in animal shows, vying for honors with their hogs, chickens, lambs, goats and steers. And FFA members will compete in a truck and tractor driving contest that Thursday evening.
It’s been a few years since the big cats visited the midway at the county fair, but they will be back for daily shows featuring lions and tigers. According to the show’s website, the animals were born in captivity and raised and trained by Close Encounters’ staff.
The Hansen family will also be back at the fair with an acrobatic thrill show including aerial stunts. Hill said the show has always been popular with the Wilson audience, and she was glad the fair was about to book them because this is the last year the family will be touring. The family’s young children have grown up quite a bit since their last visit here.
Families with young children will also enjoy the return of the Agri-Puppets show including puppet dog Boomer, who rides around the midway in his remote-controlled little car. The Agri-Puppets show teaches kids the importance of farming and animals in a fun way.
It’s a Zoo Life will be taking some of its animals to the fair again this year as well. The small exotic petting zoo was featured in a TLC show “Our Wild Life” about the zoo and owners the Abrams family of Pinetops.
Make sure you take time to wander through the exhibit halls this year to see the quilts, paintings, flowers, and produce and notice who in the community won blue ribbons. Exhibits are divided between adult and youth, so make a stop in all exhibit halls so you don’t miss anything.
If you are entering anything in the competition — from cakes and pickles to afghans and door wreaths — take note: Entries will be accepted Saturday, Sept. 15, from 2 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 16, from 1 to 5 p.m. Tablescape entries come in Sunday, Sept. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m., and prepared foods and cut flowers can be submitted Monday, Sept. 17, from 8 to 11 a.m., before judging starts.
The exhibit halls will be open for viewing Tuesday-Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m. Call the fair office for info.
Also, make sure to see the Veterans Wall of Honor on display in the exhibit hall. Photos of around 150 local veterans are included in this display. Photos for the exhibit should be submitted by Sept. 14.
TICKETS, SPECIAL DAYS
This year, you can buy tickets at WAWtix.com. This includes advance, discounted tickets as well as same-day tickets. When you arrive at the fair, show the attendant at the ticket booth the bar code from your online ticket purchase. If you have also purchased a ride wristband in advance, you will be given a ticket at the admission ticket booth that can be redeemed at a Big Rock ticket booth for a wristband.
Admission is $7. Kids 5 and under get in free; there’s a maximum of three kids per paid adult admission. Advance admission tickets are $5 each; advance combo tickets including admission and a ride armband are $22. Wristbands alone are $22 after Sept.17. Advance tickets can be purchased at WAWtix.com or at the fairgrounds until Sept. 17. Advance tickets can also be purchased at Chick-fil-A, Sylvia's Restaurant, The Wilson Times, Agri Hardware and Piggly Wiggly in Elm City, Bailey and Kenly.
On Tuesday, school kids get in free with a paying adult (maximum three kids per paying adult). The baked goods auction is also Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Wednesday is senior day with special events from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, get $2 off admission with three cans of food going to Flynn Christian Fellowship Home.
If you take a church bulletin on Sunday, the church gets a $2 donation.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon on Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.
For more information call 252-237-8443.