09/24/12 — Three more days until fair opens

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Three more days until fair opens

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 24, 2012 1:46 PM

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Fair worker Chris Rivera put together one of the rides that will be part of the midway at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair that starts Thursday at the Wayne County Fairgrounds south of Goldsboro. The fair will run through Oct. 6.

DUDLEY -- Work was under way by 10 this morning putting up the midway rides in advance of the 64th annual edition of the award-winning Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair, which will open at 4 p.m. Thursday and continue through Saturday, Oct. 6.

Along with the rides, the fair, which showcases the area's agriculture, will offer plenty of free entertainment and contests as well as traditional fair foods.

"We have spent the last two weeks getting ready," Fair Manager Milton Ingram said. "It has been pretty hectic. We are in real good shape, and everything is ready to roll.

"We have a whole lot of entertainment. We have a new poultry/rabbit building. We have a new stage for children. The large parking lot you enter off Genoa Road has new lighting. It will be a lot brighter out there than in the past."

Ingram said the weather forecast, at least through Saturday, promises "good fair weather," and that he hopes people will turn out for the fair.

Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Pre-school children are admitted free.

The gates open at 4 p.m. on weekdays and the Powers Great American Midway opens at 5 p.m., except on Tuesday, Oct. 2, when the gates open at noon for Senior Citizens Day when admission is free for people age 60 and older.

The gates opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. The midway opens at noon Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Powers Great American Midway, which will feature 48 rides, is offering advance sales of wristband ride specials through Wednesday at www.waynefair.com. The $20 advance purchase wristband is good for one day only during the fair. It entitles the wearer to ride any mechanical ride, except for the Vortex, which requires an additional three tickets.

The regular price wristbands cost $25 each and may be purchased online once the fair begins or at the fair as well.

The advance wristband tickets are not valid for admission to the fair.

The fair offers a variety of free programs and events including the popular demolition derby, which returns for two showings. The first is Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and the second is Saturday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m. in front of the grandstands.

Bull-riding will be Oct. 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. at the grandstands.

Other events include:

* Queen of the Fair, Friday, 8 p.m., entertainment arena

* Open Junior Market Lamb Show, Saturday, noon, grandstands

* Pie-baking contest, Oct. 2, noon, pavilion

* Salute to Senior Citizens, Oct. 2, 3 p.m., pavilion

* Spelling bee, Oct. 2, 6 p.m., entertainment arena

* Talent contest. Oct. 3, 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.. and Oct., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., entertainment arena

* Cheerleading contest, Oct. 3, 5 p.m., grandstands

* Open pony and mule show, Oct. 4, 6 p.m., grandstands

* Open horse show, Oct. 4 7 p.m., grandstands

* Ugly pickup contest, Oct. 6, noon, grandstands

* Western gunfights, 8:30 p.m. each day expect Sunday.

The fair is operated by the Wayne County Livestock Development Association Inc.

This year's fair will be the last under the direction of Ingram, who is retiring. Ingram joined the association in 1970 and became fair manager in 1985. Eddie Pitzer, who has been secretary-treasurer since 1990, will be the new fair manager.

During Ingram's tenure, the fair has consistently been ranked among the best in the state. The 2011 fair had an attendance of more than 102,000 people and won the Image, Youth and Agricultural awards given annually at the N.C. Fair Convention.

The fair has won the Image Award 14 times, more than another fair in the state. It has won the Youth Award 22 times, twice as many times as any other fair, and the Agriculture Award 11 times.

It has won the Got to be Agriculture Award seven times over the award's nine-year span.