10/01/17 — Fair is in full swing

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Fair is in full swing

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 1, 2017 1:45 AM

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People fill the midway around the south end of the Wayne County Fairgrounds Friday night to experience the sights and sounds of opening weekend of the Wayne County Regional Agricultural Fair.

Four-year-old Landon Knowles was on sensory overload Friday night at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.

He had just had his face painted to look like Batman and was making his way through the livestock building.

Pausing at a stall containing two black angus cows, back to back facing in opposite directions, he looked quizzical.

"Why does it have two heads?" he asked.

His mom, Amanda Knowles, smiled. She's used to his curiosity and interest.

They come to the fair every year, she said. Sometimes two or three times.

"He'd come every night if we'd let him," she said. "He rides the rides, plays games. He loves the animals."

What's his favorite?

"The thing that says 'moo,'" he replied.

"What kind of animals is that?" his mom asked.

"A cow," Landon said.

Shamekia Melvin and husband, Thaddius, were accompanied by children, Jakarrius Sutton, 6, and Nayonna Sutton, 5.

"I like the exhibits," Mrs. Melvin said. "They like the rides."

"And the food," chimed in her husband, admitting he would be on the lookout for Polish sausages.

Everyone has their own preferred elements of the fair.

Aaron Bissette said he likes the thrill rides, with fried Oreos his must-have.

"I love the thrill rides," echoed his girlfriend, Rionna Allen. "My food of choice, I love the little church (booth) set-ups they have and fried Oreos."

Bissette said he was also there to play some of the games on the midway.

"I definitely recommend the BBs, the gun one, trying to shoot the stars out," he said. "I won her a little unicorn thing from popping the balloons."

Outside the back gate, Officer Shaun Daughtry was collecting tickets and making sure no one sneaks in, he said.

The Sampson County native has worked with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office for 10 years and for the past four has assisted during fair week.

He enjoys the crowd, especially the kids, he says, and hopes to indulge in an Italian sausage and be part of the crowd.

"If I get off in time, my wife and daughter, they meet here and we go," he said.

For Linda Crawford, the atmosphere stirs up all sorts of emotions.

"I used to come every year," she said, recalling "way back" to the 1960s when her husband's parents volunteered at the Grantham Grange food booth.

"When we'd get off work, we'd rush to get to the fair to help them," she said. "He grew up on a farm and of course I did, too, and he just loved anything about agriculture and farming.

She and Bobby Crawford were married 53 years, she said. He passed away earlier this year, in January. But the fair, like her husband, still holds fond memories and a special place in her heart.

"Even though he spent his life in the military, he never lost his love for agriculture and farming," she said.