The Lee County Regional Fair kicks off Wednesday and there’s plenty of fun and activities on tap.

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. Exhibitors have been busy setting up since late last week and judging in the various categories took place Monday.

On Wednesday, things officially get under way with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. in the agricultural exhibit hall area. Also on opening day, the Petite Miss Pageant takes place at 6 p.m. and at 7 p.m., the Tiny Miss Pageant is slated. On Thursday night, the Young Miss Pageant will be at 6 p.m. and the Junior Miss Pageant at 7:30 p.m. All pageants will be held at the arena stage.

Other Wednesday highlights will include the Mayor’s Choice Sugar Cookie Bake-Off at 5:30 p.m., adult and youth tobacco looping contest, youth tractor and truck driving competition and the adult tractor and truck driving competition.

Wednesday night’s entertainment will be Renee Riddle and The Ramblers performing at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Exhibit halls close at 10 p.m., but the midway remains open until 11 p.m.

Daily admission is $5 and children under 36” tall are admitted free. Wednesday is also Senior Citizen Day, where those 65 and older are admitted for free. Armbands are available for $20 for all rides or you can pay by the ride. On Friday and Saturday, the armbands for rides will be $25, and then on Sunday, a $20 last-blast special will be available.

This year, four young women will be competing for the title of Miss Lee Regional Fair: Cameron Nicole Collins, Mikaela Gabrielle Claybrook, Macy Elizabeth Faulk and Kinley Grace Scott.

Collins is a freshman at Southern Lee High School and is the daughter of Kelly and Brandon Collins. She plans to attend North Carolina State University and major in sports marketing and minor in business administration.

Claybrook is a freshman at Chatham Central High School. Her parents are Jennifer Claybrook and Damon Parks. After high school, she plans to start her own clothing brand and says she’ll work hard to network and build long-lasting relationships to secure her future as a successful entrepreneur.

Faulk is a senior at Southern Lee High School and is the daughter of Robert and Shelly Faulk. She plans to attend college and pursue a marketing degree. Her mother competed in the pageant in the early 1990s and her older sister also participated.

Scott is a sophomore at Grace Christian School and is the daughter of Kimberly Rains and Kevin Scott. Her plans are to attend college in pursuit of a law degree.

The Miss Lee Regional Fair pageant is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the arena stage.

Also during the fair, the Lee County NAACP will be offering a COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic on Saturday from 4:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. They’ll have gift cards available for those participating.

According to Bob Finch of the Lee County NAACP, a CDC study has shown that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 and more likely to be hospitalized than those who are vaccinated.

“We all need to get together to get vaccinated to save ourselves and our neighbors,” Finch said. “I cannot dismiss this virus when so many are fighting for their lives. We cannot live in fear nor can we snap a finger and make the virus disappear.”