Fulton County Fair opens Friday 8.27

Written by David Green.

From Friday, August 29, through Thursday, September 4, the 151st Fulton County Fair is once again serving up its super-sized combo of world-class entertainment, family-friendly prices and a something-for-everyone philosophy that last year swelled the county’s population of roughly 43,000 to more than 281,000 during Fair Week.     

The Beach Boys—the most popular American pop group in history—bring their musical salutes to surfing, hotrods and teenage angst to the Fulton County Grandstand stage on Sunday, August 31.  During a near-half-century career, the Beach Boys have had dozens of hits, among them "Surfin' Safari," "Surfin' USA," "California Girls," "I Get Around," "God Only Knows," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "In My Room" and "Kokomo." 

Following the Beach Boys’ Sunday night concert, the Fair Board is sponsoring a free fireworks show in the Grandstand, back from last year by popular demand.

The Fair's Annual Labor Day Concert on Monday, September 1, features country music star Joe Nichols with Jake Owen. 

Nichols, who shot to fame with his first hit, “Brokenheartsville,” was named Top New Male Vocalist at the 2003 ACM Awards.  In that same year, he received the CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year and the CMA Horizon Award.  He has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, three of them for his hit, "The Impossible." 

Nichol’s other hits include "I'll Wait for You" and his most recent, "It Ain't No Crime." 

Bob Wurst performs a free concert at 2 p.m. at the Veterans' Pavilion. The Van-Dells, a '50s’ and '60s’ band, is slated for a free South-Stage concert at 7:30 Saturday night.  

The Fair Board is offering free Grandstand admission to harness racing with pari-mutuel wagering.  Trotters and pacers take to the track on Saturday, August 30, at 1 p.m., Monday, September 1, at noon and Tuesday, September 2, at 6:30 p.m. 

On opening day, Friday, August 29, NTPA-sanctioned tractor and truck pulls power their way into the Fulton County Grandstand infield at 6:30 p.m.  Earlier in the day, out-of-field and antique tractor pulls open the Fair at 9 a.m. 

On Saturday, August 30, at 7:30 p.m., drivers in the Rough Truck Challenge fire up their high-powered engines for an exciting night of gear-jammin’ action. Plus, all those with grand-stand tickets will have the opportunity to ride the Dodge Raminator Ride Truck prior to the show.

Clashing Combines rumbles its way into the Grandstand infield at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3.

Two big automobile demolition derbies – at 6 and 8:30 p.m. – end the 2008 Fulton County Fair with a bang on Thursday, September 4.

The fair features a wide variety of agricultural and livestock categories, rides line the midway and local performers entertain free of charge at the South Stage and Gospel Tent, the Veterans’ Free Ham and Bean Dinner on Saturday and the Golden Wedding Party on Sunday, an array of treats that range from milkshakes to lemonade, from sausage sandwiches to beef barbecue and from elephant ears to deep-fried Twinkies.  

New to the 2008 Fair is the World Class Whitetail Deer Exhibit, which features mounts of trophy-size whitetails. 

And, in response to the popularity of the “150 Years of Grain Harvesting” display at last year’s Fair, an all-new exhibit titled “Corn Harvesting Through the Years.”

Also making its first appearance at this year’s Fair is the 4-H 400 Backseat Driver Contest, which follows the Showman of Showmen contest in Spangler Arena on Tuesday, September 2.  Co-ed teams will maneuver an obstacle course in a golf cart; the male, who will drive, will be blindfolded, while the female gives him directions. 

In the middle of the Fairgrounds, the old firehouse/EMT station, has additional showers and restrooms.  At the south end of the Fairgrounds, fire crews and EMTs will be located at the building site of a much-needed new facility that will be completed by the 2009 Fair.  

The 2008 Fulton County Fair also offers special groups free admission on specified days. Veterans and their spouses will be admitted free on Saturday, August 30, till 6 p.m.; schoolchildren, on Junior Fair Day, Tuesday, September 2, (along with special ride prices from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.); and senior citizens ages 65 and better, on Wednesday, September 3, till 6 p.m.  Free admission does not include ticketed shows.

Country crooner and self-proclaimed Buckeye Bob Wurst will perform in a free concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 30, at the Veterans' Pavilion to honor those who served America.  That night, at 7:30 p.m., the Van-Dells will appear in a free South-Stage concert.  Throughout Fair Week, singers and musicians will perform free of charge at the South Stage and at the Gospel Tent.  

Gate admission is just $5 a person, with children ages 15 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.  Parking is free, too. 

Visitors have access to free entertainment, shows, demonstrations, activities and displays.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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