09/24/08 — County fair ready to welcome livestock entries tonight

View Archive

County fair ready to welcome livestock entries tonight

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 24, 2008 1:46 PM

Attendees of the 60th annual Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair should tighten their seat belts and get ready for the ride of their life if they tackle the fair's newest ride, fair manager Milton Ingram said.

The newest addition to the Powers Great American Midway is the Vortex, billed as the most exciting ride the fair has ever offered.

The fair officially starts Thursday at 4 p.m., but livestock handlers and exhibitors will be getting ready today for the gates to open tomorrow.

Ingram said the Vortex resembles a 90-foot tower with hands like a clock. Riders sit on the hands and go upside down and all around. He said thrill-seekers should be ready to wait their turn. The ride can only seat eight people at a time -- and it also costs a little more than the fair's other four dozen rides -- three extra tickets to go along with the pay-one-price wristband.

Powers will sport three new rides this year, Ingram said, giving fairgoers more than ever for their money.

Although the ride is scary, riders can be assured that it's safe. North Carolina is one of the few states that require fair rides to be rigorously inspected, and State Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry will be on hand Thursday at the fair's opening to emphasis the safety of all rides.

Another new attraction at this year's edition of the fair will be Statue Viva, a living statue. Ingram said it's actually an actress dressed and painted totally white. She will stand on a pedestal three hours every day for an hour at a time without moving.

"Other fairs have had her and said she's a big draw," Ingram said. "People like to watch to see if she'll move. And they like having their picture taken with her."

Even though forecasters are calling for a chance of rain for the fair's opening, that should not be a problem, Ingram said.

"Chances are it will have an effect on Thursday and by Friday clear out," he said. "Thursday is checking in exhibits and just getting everything in place. It's not normally a large crowd that day, anyway. Now it would be a different case if it rains on Saturday. But on Thursday, it would just be an inconvenience. I can't control the weather, so that's one thing I don't worry about."

The goat show is the only event scheduled for Thursday and if it rains, it will be moved inside the livestock arena.

Ingram is hoping for an attendance of 100,000 during the 10-day fair. "That's about normal for us," he said.

He said he is confident the fair will be a good one, rain or shine.

"We've really got a good fair in place," Ingram said.