In its 81st year, the Lee Regional Fair will offer new performances and entertainment, along with tried-and-true classics.
The fair opens Tuesday with an opening parade and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Running through Sunday, the fair offers fun for all with food, games, rides and shows.
Fair event coordinator Carla Hooker put together several new events this year, including the fair's first dog show — Sanford's Amateur Paw Pageant. The show takes place at 3 p.m. Sept. 16 on the amphitheater stage.
There are 10 categories for the pageant: cutest, best outfit, best trick, most exotic look, best gait, best smile, best personality, best kisser, best coat and best matching outfits with its handler.
Hooker said she created the event because of the community's love for animals.
“I know we’ve got a lot of pet stores here, a lot of vets here," she said. "It’s obvious that people love their pets because they all seem to be doing pretty well. I haven’t seen a pet store close down here in Sanford, I’ve only seen others open up.”
Britton Buchanan will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at the arena stage. Buchanan was runner-up on the most recent season of NBC's "The Voice." Hooker said she met Buchanan around four years ago and kept in touch with him during the early part of "The Voice."
"I think the response will be outstanding. We’ll probably have more of a crowd than we can accomodate," she said. "That will be good. At least Sanford will be showing their support.”
The fair's talent shows are back with Sanford's Kids Got Talent at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sanford's Got Talent at 8 p.m. Saturday. Auditions for both contests have already been held. For the kids' show, prizes are $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third. Prizes for Sanford's Got Talent are $1,000 to the winner, $750 for second and $500 for third.
For the first time, Dakota and Friends will come to the Lee Regional Fair. The Charlotte-based company supplies life-like dinosaurs for events and parties. Children will be able to party with a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Triceratops.
Organized by the S3 Housing Connect, Cow Patty Bingo will start at 6 p.m. Friday. Each person will occupy a numbered spot and if the cow drops a "pie" at your spot, you can win up to $500. Tickets are $25 per square and include free admission to the fair Friday night. Tickets can be purchased at Family Promise, 2302 Woodland Ave., and the Sanford Buggy Factory, 115 Chatham St., or by calling 919-718-4657, ext. 5543.
The Lions Club Fairgrounds are located at 505 N. Seventh St.
Reach Staff Writer Noah Grant at 919-718-1229 and on Twitter at @NoahGrantHerald.