Residents asked to share moments on social media
By STACEY HAIRSTON
The 4th annual Franklin County Agricultural Fair is well under way with midway rides, competitions, local competitive exhibits, food, vendors and more.
The fair opened its gates yesterday at the Franklin County Recreation Park and will run through Saturday, Sept. 16, with something for the entire family.
Nightly events include Brinkley Entertainment’s midway with 14 mechanical rides, a 50-foot Ferris wheel, games and concessions; Little Critters Petting Zoo and Pony Rides; K9s in Flight Frisbee dog dock-diving show; Dialed Action BMX stunt show local exhibits; and an agri-zoo.
Gates will open tonight (Thursday, Sept. 14) from 5 to 10 p.m. with students receiving free admission. The evening will feature the Franklin County High School SkillsUSA tent from 6 to 8 p.m. and Roanoke gospel group Sons of Thunder performing on the Harvester Stage from 7 to 9 p.m.
The fair opens from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday with an electricity contest from the SkillsUSA students from 6 to 8 p.m. The Blue Ridge Mountain Garden Tractor Pullers will host a show from 6 to 10 p.m. in the park’s lower field. Taking the Harvester Stage Friday night will be Roanoke bluegrass band Mason Creek from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by award-winning male bluegrass vocalist Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out from 8 to 10 p.m.
Saturday will be a big day at the fair with gates opening at noon and closing at 11 p.m.
The Southwestern Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Association will hold its tractor pull from noon to 6 p.m. in the park’s lower field. Contests, including the Handsome Man Beard and Mustache and the Ladies Frying Pan Toss, will take place Saturday at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
The Franklin County JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) students will showcase their talents on the Harvester Stage from noon to 2:30 p.m., followed by GroovaScape from 3 to 5 p.m. Matt Powell will return home to Franklin County from Austin, Texas, to perform his blend of blues, country, rock, folk, pop, soul, and bluegrass from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and artist Julie Roberts will close the night’s entertainment with blues music from 8 to 10 p.m.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation will display its 16-feet wide, 7-feet high LOVEwork again this year for fairgoers to pose for selfies.
“We encourage everyone to ‘share the love’ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #LOVEVA and #FCAGFAIR,” said Fair Chairman David Rotenizer. “This traveling art will only be in Franklin County for a few days during the event.”
Gate admission to the fair nightly is $5 for ages 12 and up, $2 for ages 5 to 11 and anyone under age 5 will be admitted free of charge. Gate admission includes access to the fairgrounds, contests, entertainment and attractions, but not the midway.
Ride wristbands for the midway are $10 each and include unlimited rides.
Major credit cards and debit cards will be accepted.
The concept of agricultural fairs originated in farming communities as an opportunity for folks to come together for fellowship and a celebration of the fruits of labor and bountiful harvests, according to the fair’s website.
“There is a little something for everyone – young and old, short and tall, boy and girl,” Rotenizer said.
Visitors to the fair can share their favorite moments from the Agricultural Fair by tagging #FCAGFAIR when uploading photos to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
For more information, including a map of the fairgrounds, visit www.FCAgFair.com.