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. 10-15 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.
As we go into the 76th year of the Sanford Lions sponsoring the 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 a great county fair. Admission to the fair is $7 and an armband can be purchased for $20, allowing you to ride as many rides as you can handle. Or you can purchase individual ride tickets. Armbands can be purchased in advance for $16 by Sept. 6 and can be purchased at Piggly Wiggly, La Cumplidora and some Lee County schools.
The admission fee of $7 paid at the gate will allow fair goers to attend all special events and exhibits. Seniors citizens (65 years and older) get in free on Sunday, Sept. 15. Students will be admitted free from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and children under 36 inches will be admitted free all week.
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 the opening a tobacco-looping contest, sponsored by Crop Production Services, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7, at the tobacco barn. The Lions plan to have a tobacco curing demonstration going on all week. New this year is a tobacco tying contest, also sponsored by Crop Production, which will be held on Sunday when the tobacco comes out of the barn.
Opening events on Tuesday will begin with the Lee Regional Fair Parade showcasing Lee County High School Marching Band and the ribbon-cutting ceremony. That evening the youth and adult truck and tractor driving competitions will be held out on the Lions Field and the youth broiler competition in the barn.
Our seventh 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. C-CAPE club members will demonstrate various antique farm equipment, and demonstrations throughout the week.
The 4-H Dog Show and the 4-H Rabbit Show, as well as the the ever popular Diaper Derby, will be held on Saturday afternoon.
In the Agriculture Exhibit Hall this year, you will have the opportunity to ask questions of local artisans and knowledgeable area residents at the “Let’s Chat” booth.
Cook-off contests are again on the schedule. Starting with the Mayor’s Choice Bake-Off for youth. This year we changed it up a bit by having brownies as the “cookie of choice.” The mayors of Sanford and Broadway, along with other dignitaries, will judge the cookies and hopefully samples will be left for those of us watching. Additional food contests will include homemade ice cream, chili and cakes. Check the Fair Catalog for rules, date and times and bring your best to compete. These cook-offs are always a crowd pleasure.
In additions to all these events, the Lions have scheduled an appearance of the UNC Dance Team, a cheerleading exhibition, a working blacksmith shop, a demolition derby, ATV Mud Bog, Barn Yard Review, Truck and Tractor Pull, horse show, a lion and tiger show, Smokey The Bear, a hypnotist, a chainsaw artist and auction, beauty pageants for all youth age groups, childcare and pre-school visits, and much, much more!
A new building added to the fairgrounds this year is the general store. Be sure to stop in for some candy and a soda. They even plan to have some hoop cheese for sale. As you walk around the grounds, look for the quilt squares on display. The Hearts and Hands ECA Quilters will introduce over 14 quilt squares that will be a part of the soon to be created Lee County Quilt Trail.
As you stop for a bite to eat at the Lions Kitchen, there will be nonstop entertainment at the amphitheater. In additional to all the great food from the Lions and the midway vendors, as in years past, the Leo Club will be selling fresh roasted corn-on-the-cob. Playworld Unlimited returns for the ninth year.
Wow! The events and all there is to do at the Lee Regional Fair just keeps getting better. And the closer we get to fair week, I am sure the organizers will add more attractions.
Now don’t forget to participate in the fair by entering the exhibit competitions. Fair catalogs can be picked up at the Extension Center, The Sanford Herald, and various businesses around the county and entries will be accepted on Saturday from 1-6 p.m. and then again on Sunday, from 1-5 p.m. at 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 exhibitors this year. Judging will take place on Monday, Sept. 9.
Our regional 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.
Watch The Sanford Herald for daily updates, listen to the local radio stations and watch the cable TV channels or check out the Sanford Lions Club web site at http://sanfordlionsclub.com/ for a complete listing of fair events and information. You can also follow the events on their Facebook page, Sanford Lions Club-Lee Regional Fair. With all the new events and improvements, the Lee Regional Fair will definitely be another “Award Winning Fair.”
Susan C. Condlin is County Extension Director with North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.