EXTENSION NEWS: It’s about time for the Lee Regional Fair

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 04:59 AM

It’s just about time for the biggest party that Lee County will see this year. And you all are invited. Mark your calendars now for Sept. 9-14 and make plans to attend the Lee Regional Fair. No need to RSVP, just come as you are and enjoy yourself. 

It may seem too early and still a little warm, but fair organizers promise it will be another award winning fair. Each day of the fair will be filled with agricultural exhibits, farm animals, entertainment, exciting midway rides, great food and many special events for all ages. As in years past, this will be another great county fair.

Admission to the fair is $7 Tuesday-Saturday and $5 on Sunday. If you donate five cans of food to be given to Sanford and Lee County charities, you can have free admission on Sunday. School age children K-12 are admitted free on Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. and seniors (65 and older) are admitted free from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Children under 36 inches will be admitted free all week. The admission fee allows fair goers to attend all special events and exhibits. 

If you like riding the rides, armbands are $20 and will allow you to ride as many rides as you can handle. Or you can purchase individual ride tickets at the fair. Better yet, save a little money and purchased armbands in advance for $16 at Piggly Wiggly, La Cumplidora and some Lee County schools.

As in the past, the fair will continue to showcase agriculture and youth events through its many entries in the exhibit hall, livestock barn and on the ball field. Prior to opening day, a tobacco-looping contest will be held on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the tobacco barn. Tobacco will be hung in the barn and cured all week with a tobacco tying contest on Saturday, Sept. 13. Opening events on Tuesday will be the youth and adult truck and tractor driving competition on the ball field and the youth broiler competition in the Barn. Our annual Meat Goat Show sponsored by Lee County Farm Bureau will be held on Wednesday night in the Arena Barn. The Livestock Show will be held on Thursday night followed by the Champion Poultry and Livestock Auction. C-CAPE club members will have on display various antique farm equipment and will conduct demonstrations throughout the week. The 4-H rabbit shows will be held on Friday night and the annual Diaper Derby competition is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Performing again this year will be our Magetsi 4-H Club Traditional Latino Dancers. In the antique village, you can visit the General Store and see a working tobacco barn and blacksmith shop, as well as antique farm machinery demonstrations. 

A cook-off contest will again be held. We start on Tuesday following the ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor’s Choice Cookie Bake-Off for youth. This year, the cookie of choice is oatmeal raisin. The mayors of Sanford and Broadway and the chairman of the Lee County Commissioners will judge the cookies and hopefully samples will be left for those of us watching. Additional food contests during the week will be homemade ice cream, chili and cakes.

In additions to these events, the Lions have much more planned with the appearance of the UNC dance team, a cheerleading exhibition from Campbell and Methodist universities, a one man band show, dancing bears, hypnotist show, golf cart drunk simulator, talent and music competitions, animal and bird exhibits, an ATV mud bog, a tractor pull, a high wire act and a halter horse show. Returning will be the chainsaw artist and auction, and, of course, the beauty pageants for all youth age groups. Childcare and pre-school visits are planned for Thursday morning. New this year will be a playground area for children up to 5 years old. 

The events just keep getting better and more may be added, as we get closer to the fair. Check out the Sanford Lions Club website (http://www.sanfordlionsclub.com) for additional information.

And you won’t go hungry at the fair. The Lions concession stand will return with those “fried delights” — popcorn, peanuts, drinks and ice cream. The Lions kitchen will be cranking out the food and, of course, there will be many midway vendors. In addition, the Leo Club will be selling fresh roasted corn-on-the-cob. 

If all this doesn’t get you excited, I encourage you to participate in the fair by entering exhibits. Entries will be accepted on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 1-6 p.m., and then again on Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Bring your prize-winning exhibits to the Agricultural Exhibit hall. Since this is a regional fair, entries can come from counties adjoining Lee County and beyond. Premium awards are great and there will also be a drawing of $500 for one youth and one adult blue ribbon exhibitor. The fair catalog has already been distributed through The Sanford Herald. Additional copies can be picked up at the Extension Center on Tramway Road or at businesses around town that support the fair.

As you can see, the fair has much to offer to both the young and young at heart. There will be plenty of food, rides, music, commercial exhibits, games and prizes for all. The Lions are working hard to get the fairgrounds in tiptop shape, and, as always, this year’s fair promises to be another exciting event. Come see why the Lee Regional Fair is an “award-winning fair.”

Susan C. Condlin is County Extension Director with North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.