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Chamber of Commerce offers fair passes, discounted rides

Elizabeth Saulsbury • Jul 31, 2014 at 1:29 PM

The Gray Fairgrounds will be seeing a wide range of entertainment and contests this year.

The 2014 Appalachian Fair is scheduled for Aug. 18-23. The event schedule is full of family friendly fun from country music concerts to beauty pageants to talent competitions.

“The fair has a full schedule of entertainment on the Museum Stage this year and some exciting new contests,” said Richard Storey, fair president.

Tickets to the fair will be more convenient than ever to purchase, thanks to the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce serving as a satellite ticket office. The Chamber, 603 E. Market St., will have one-day adult and children’s passes and discounted ride tickets available for purchase from Aug. 4-15.

“The Chamber and Appalachian Fair have always had a strong working relationship,” said Barbara Mentgen, director of operations for the Chamber. “Several years ago, we asked what we could do to help with the main August event and suggested trying the sale of specific tickets here at our office. It was a success, with hundreds of people purchasing their entry passes and discounted ride tickets early.”

According to Mentgen, fairgoers find it convenient to have another location to buy tickets ahead of time.

“Purchasers appreciate having another location in Washington County where they can purchase entry and ride tickets, knowing tickets for the evening concert are only handled out of the Fairgrounds office,” Mentgen said. “We are in our third year of selling advance entry and ride tickets, and we consider this one small way we can help out this regional event that brings people to our community.”

Each evening of the fair will feature a different entertainer, with genres ranging from country to Christian. This year’s concert lineup includes Tyler Farr, Thomas Rhett, Parmalee, Craig Morgan, Chase Rice, Francesca Battistelli and For King and Country.

A wide array of contests will take place throughout. The annual Fairest of the Fair pageant will take place Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. The pageant will feature contestants from ages 16-21 in formal costume. Contestants will be judged on beauty, poise and personality. The winner will represent the Appalachian Fair during the week, as well as at the Tennessee Association of Fairs in Nashville in January.

“Little Miss” Fairest of the Fair contests will begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 19. The “Little Miss” pageants will have divisions for ages 2-15. Contestants will be judged on beauty and personality.

The Appalachian Fair’s Battle of the Bands will have its second year Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. This family friendly contest is open to any band of any genre and the winning band will receive $500. Each band will have 12 minutes to perform and will be judged on appearance, originality, showmanship, skill and technical ability, overall performance and crowd response.

The Youth Talent Contest will take place Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. The contest will feature amateurs aged 13-21 in the categories of vocal solo, vocal group, instrumental solo, band, dance solo, dance group and variety. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three entries, and the winner will compete at the Tennessee Valley Fair in Knoxville in September.

Also in its second year is the “So You Think You Can Dance” competition, which will be held Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. The contest is open to both solo dancers and dance companies. The winner of the contest will receive $500.

The annual Baby Show will start at 9 a.m. Aug. 23. Children from ages 6-24 months can participate in the contest. Small cash prizes are available for some winners.

The fair’s finale contest will be the Appalachian Fair’s Got Talent contest, which will take place Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. The competition features both a children’s division and an adult division with cash prizes for the winners of each. Entries are accepted in vocal solo, vocal group, instrumental solo, variety solo and variety group categories.

For contest entry forms or for more information on the fair, visit www.appalachianfair.com or call the fair office at 477-3211.

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