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Traditions continue at Appalachian Fair in Gray

Staff Report • Aug 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

The Appalachian Fair in Gray remains an enduring seasonal benchmark in Northeast Tennessee. The fair means summer is almost over, the new school year is near (or in the case of Johnson City and Washington County students, already here) and autumn is just around the corner.The sights and sounds of the midway, the breathtaking rides and the farm and home exhibits still lure local families to the Appalachian Fair. Oh, and did we mention the funnel cakes? Funnel cakes certainly appeal to the child in all of us, and there is no better place to reconnect with the funnel cake than at the fair. The Appy Fair, which ends Saturday, has become as much a part of local Americana as funnel cakes or cotton candy.As we’ve said in this space many times before, it’s comforting to know that at least three generations in Upper East Tennessee have enjoyed a visit to the fairgrounds in Gray. The fair as we know it today began taking shape in 1952 when Washington County donated 5 acres near the school to become a permanent home for the event. Both children and their parents rejoiced when the James Drew Exposition came to the fair in the late 1960s, bringing rides that still excite and thrill fairgoers today.Over the decades, music has been a prime draw to the fair. This year is no exception, with top acts such as Gretchen Wilson (tonight) and Dailey & Vincent (Saturday) scheduled to take the stage. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.AppalachianFair.com.

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