By Alison James
The sounds of livestock and carnival music, the smells of fried dough and grilled hamburgers, mingling with laughter and shouting in a family friendly atmosphere … can all mean only one thing.
It’s time for the Lee County Fair.
The fair starts this year Sept. 30, with free admission that afternoon from 4-6 p.m. and paid admission ($3 adults, $2 children under 12) after that.
“What other venue do you have that you can provide competition and gather youth participation in something around anymore,” said Jim Sadler, President of Lee County Fair Association, a sector of the Exchange Club. “You don’t have many. It’s all about youth and agriculture and making people aware that there are other things out there besides city life.”
Children and adults alike have the opportunity to flex their creative and agricultural skills at the free, which features a cookie contest and Lego contest Tuesday for the children, along with the lamb show (Wednesday), beauty pageant (Wednesday through Thursday), 4-H and ladies groups exhibits, heifer and steer show (Wednesday), goat show (Thursday) and more.
“They all compete for prizes,” Sadler said, touting a total of almost $7,000 in prizes and premiums this year.
The fair runs through Oct. 4. Thursday is armband night, where attendees can enter for a $1 and buy an armband for unlimited rides.
Sadler said the fair is always highly-anticipated, as a production of the Exchange Club for more than 60 years.
“We’re victims of the economy, but we had a good year last year and we’re hoping to have a good year this year,” Sadler said.
Live music will be a focus Friday and Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.
“These are young people furnished by Spicer’s Garage Band,” Sadler said. “They play generally all kinds of music.”
Students who want to participate may enter the poster contest with a theme of “Agriculture: 365 sunrises and 7 billion mouths to feed.”
Sadler said they think the competition aspect is good for children and adults.
“There’s nothing wrong with participating in something other than your day to day lives,” Sadler said. “You need to have outside interests.”
Anyone with questions on the various competitions and exhibits can visit or call the Lee County Extension, 864-9373, 600 S 7th St # 4, Opelika.