01/20/08 — County fair brings home state convention honors

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County fair brings home state convention honors

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 20, 2008 12:31 PM

Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Manager Milton Ingram came home from the North Carolina and South Carolina Convention of Agricultural Fairs in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with his arms full of awards.

The most prestigious honor the Wayne County event received was the Image Award, given to the best fair of the year in North Carolina with attendance over 40,000.

The Image Award is given annually to fairs that truly represent what a state agricultural fair should be, the North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs award program description says.

Wayne County's fair won because it has a balance of outstanding agricultural and youth exhibits and displays, livestock exhibits and shows, contests, entertainment, commercial displays, a variety of foods and a good carnival, judges said. The winning fair also must involve numerous individuals, groups, organizations and clubs, generally be a cross-section of the area served and have facilities and grounds that are clean, neat and customer friendly -- all of which can be founf in Wayne County, officials said.

The NCAOAF award program began in 1977, and the Wayne fair has won the Image Award 11 times -- more than any other fair in North Carolina.

Since Ingram has been manager, the fair has won eight.

But, that's not all the fair won this year.

It also won the Youth Award, given to the fair with both quality and quantity of youth exhibits, educational booths, youth contests, junior livestock shows, youth activities and scholarships.

The fair won the Agriculture Award as well, which showcases the quality and quantity of agricultural exhibits and displays, organizational involvement and general agriculture and agricultural heritage.

The Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair also took home the Commissioner of Agriculture Award, for the best "Got to Be N.C." exhibit, which was prepared by Sandra Ingram. The award included a certificate and a $750 check for the fair.

Ingram said that the success of the fair year after year is due to the hard work and dedication of many of the volunteers, employees and exhibitors who help with the fair.

Several changes and improvements are planned for this year's event, which will run from Sept. 25 until Oct. 4.

The fair is owned and operated by the non-profit Wayne County Livestock Develop-ment Association.