The Carroll County Agricultural Fair will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2015, and this year’s event features many new activities as well as many favorites.
Kevin Semones, Chairman of the Carroll Fair, recently addressed the Carroll County Board of Supervisors about this year’s event, which is set to run from Aug. 26-30 at the fairgrounds at 497 Farmers Market Drive in Hillsville.
“We started this thing 10 years ago and we are back at it. There are two main purposes, to try to educate folks about ag here in the county. It’s one of our biggest industries and we are probably one of the most diverse ag counties in the state of Virginia, so we try to display that at fair,” Semones said. “We also try to let folks learn a little bit about some of the different things of what we do here in the county with livestock, crops and what have you.”
Semones said the Carroll Ag Fair has come a long way the past decade. It always opens with Ag Education Days, in which every second and third grader in the area is brought to the fair during the day. Stations are set up by the extension office, FFA, 4-H and other local folks to teach kids about crops, livestock, nature and other things offered in the county. On Friday of the fair, all fifth graders from Carroll County visit for an educational day.
Semones said the barnyard will be different this year and will feature some heritage animals different than the black angus and traditional animals normally featured.
The Miss Carroll County Fair beauty pageant is always a big event, Semones said, noting last year’s pageant had more than 60 contestants. This year’s pageant is set to be held Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. on the fairgrounds.
The bench show and treeing contest was added four years ago and will be held this year on Sun., Aug. 30. The event is sanctioned this year and will be sponsored by the Carroll County Coon Hunters’ Club.
Semones said Brinkleys will again provide the carnival rides as it has the last two years. Carnival times are 5-10 p.m. on Aug. 26-27, 5-11 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 28, 12-11 p.m. on Aug. 29, and 1-6 p.m. on Aug. 30. Gate entry fee will be $5 for 13 years and up, $3 for 6-12 years, and free for kids five and under. That fee gets you unlimited access to the rides.
“Brinkleys has done us a real good job the last two years. It will be pretty much the same rides for this year,” Semones said. “I think that has been a big hit and something that has really gotten the fair going in the right direction.”
The children’s tent will be available from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Semones said, and will include educational aspects as well as fun games. The popular corn maze was a bust last year, Semones said, but is looking great this time.
“It looks like we have the biggest corn maze we have had for four or five years,” he said.
Demonstrations this year will include popular chainsaw artist Brad Carico, and there will be a drug dog demonstration on Saturday. There will also be a sawmill demonstration this year.
“We are trying to work on this Forestry event more this year,” Semones said. “There is a lot of sponsorship money in this forestry contest this year and we come up with a pretty good prize, a chainsaw.”
Equipment displays will include a large number of antique tractors and hopefully more new equipment than in past years, Semones said. Exhibits will start to come in Aug. 24 and Semones hopes they will be up this year, although he admitted it’s been an odd crop year.
The Homegrown Authors’ event will be back for a second year, where local authors come to sign and talk about their books on Saturday. The horse pull will be held Sat., Aug. 29 beginning at 7 p.m.
“It’s probably the number one or two horse pull in Southwest Virginia as far as the number of teams that turn out,” Semones said.
This year’s horse show will be held Sun., Aug. 30 beginning at 1 p.m. The lawnmower race is sanctioned through IMR Racing and will be held Fri., Aug. 28 at approximately 7:30 p.m.
“And then on livestock you’ve got beef, diary, sheep, goat, and poultry. We looked at swine, but a couple of things happened this year and we kind of backed down on the swine thing,” Semones said.
As far as music, there will be a Wednesday night jam from 6-9 p.m. with various artists. On Friday, Aug. 28, Ethan Ayers and Stagecoach will play around 9 p.m., while several bands will play Saturday night, winding down with gospel group The Alleys from 8-9 p.m. that night.
The Pet Show will be held on Sat., Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. There will be two recipe contests this year – one for Anything Apple and another for Come For Dessert. A Storytelling Contest will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Another popular event will be wrestling on Sunday afternoon featuring the Jimmy “the Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant.
Visit http://carrollcountyvafair.org to learn more about this year’s Carroll County Agricultural Fair.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN