It’s the first full week of fall next week. In Madison County, that's also “fair time.”
The 71st-annual Madison County Agricultural Fair will open Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. at the Comer Lions Club fairgrounds, 1254 Main Street (Hwy. 22), Comer.
The fair will run through Saturday, Sept. 28. Gates open nightly at 6 p.m. with a Saturday matinee for kids from noon to 4 p.m. The $4 gate admittance includes free grandstand entertainment and you can bring a pair of used eyeglasses, hearing aids or cell phones and get 50 cents off the gate price. Ages 5 and under are admitted free. The Saturday matinee features free entrance for children under 15 and $1 for all others.
Gate prizes will be offered each evening and during the Saturday matinee (deposit your gate tickets in the barrel under the canopy and remember to save your stub). Drawings are held at 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and organizers say you must be present to win.
James Gang Entertainment will once again provide entertainment on the midway featuring rides and games. Organizers say bring non-perishable food or monetary donations for the Madison County Food Bank to the Lions Club community booth and register to win two tickets to the Georgia/Kentucky football game on Oct. 19.
Participate in “Split-the-Pot” by guessing the number of peas in a jar for $1 per guess. The winner will be announced Saturday night and will split the money with the Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter, organizers said, and you do not need to be present to win.
There will be exhibits of handmade arts and crafts, community club and promotional exhibits, commercial business, agricultural equipment and vendors with various wares.
Special unlimited midway passes can be purchased Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and at the Saturday matinee for $15 each. Friday and Saturday unlimited ride passes are $20 each.
Fair organizers say be sure to visit the community and commercial exhibit buildings and look for the winning entries in each category.
The following is a list of daily highlights for the fair this year:
•Tuesday night will open the fair with a FFA and 4-H swine show that will begin at 6:30 p.m. and at 7 p.m. The Grains of Sand will take the stage for a performance of beach, soul and Motown music. The 10 p.m. gate prize drawing will be a $200 gift card from Ingles. Also, all Lions Club members will receive free gate admittance by showing their membership cards.
•Wednesday night will kick off with a FFA and 4-H goat and lamb show competition and The Nothin’ Nu Band will perform “everything old is new again” music on the grandstand beginning at 7 p.m. The gate prize for the evening will be a $150 gift card from A Girl’s Treasures in Comer and a $150 gift card from Madison County Ace Hardware in Danielsville.
•Thursday evening features The Country River Band performing “classic, traditional country music” on the grandstand beginning at 7 p.m. An FFA and 4-H dairy cow competition will also begin at 7 p.m. in the livestock arena. The 10 p.m. gate prize drawing for the night is a Pit Boss wood pellet grill.
•Friday night events begin with a FFA and 4-H beef cow show at 6 p.m. and the Sons of Sailors, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, will perform on the grandstand beginning at 7:30 p.m. The gate prize drawing is at 11 p.m. that evening for a $500 gift card from Sears Hometown Store.
•Saturday’s matinee opens at noon with the 20th annual open beef cattle show. Two special prize drawings will be held at 4 p.m. (Please note that gates close at 4 p.m. and will re-open at 6 p.m.)
•Saturday evening will feature Madison County’s own Holman Autry Band on stage at 7:30 p.m. The 11 p.m. grandstand drawing will be for a Honda TRX 420 all-terrain vehicle.