From canning competitions to carnival rides to the monster trucks dominating the Demolition Derby, the Appalachian Fair is pulling all the stops and preparing for 250,000 visitors from across the region to trail through the fairgrounds throughout the week checking out the craft shows, catching one of the concerts or talent competition, or just looking for their next thrill at the carnival.
“We’ve been working the past couple of weeks to finish everything up, but right now is the time it all comes together,” Manager Phil Booher said last week while the final touches were sprouting up over the fairgrounds.
What began almost a century ago as a small community gathering has grown into the lively leviathan that attracts thousands during its weeklong run today, planting memories in fair guests of all ages for decades. Today kicks of a week of entertainment and exhibits that make up one of the busiest weeks for the region.
Local talent will be in the spotlight almost every night this week from The Fairest of the Fair pageant on Monday to the So You Think You Can Dance competition on Friday night. Bluegrass, country and contemporary Christian artists will bedeck the fair stages throughout the week to give a musical boost to the end of each night. Country music star and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery on Friday night, with performances by Big Daddy Weave, Tyla Boyd, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and Carson Peters & Iron Mountain scattered throughout the week.
That’s not even mentioning the ongoing competitive exhibits in everything from career technical education programs to canning, and livestock shows throughout the week, harking back to the fair’s 92-year-old roots.
“I think it is the variety that draws people in,” Booher said. “We’ve just got so much different stuff.”
Tickets for general admission are $8 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 11, and free for children ages 5 and younger, ride tickets are $12 for a sheet of 21 tickets. Ride specials throughout the week are unlimited rides for $20 on Monday and Thursday before 3 p.m. and unlimited rides for $25 per person on Saturday for $25 per person before 3 p.m. Bring five cans or boxes of food products on Tuesday to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank and get coupons for two rides.
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