Fair ends on a wet note
By Noelle Edwards
The Rowan County Fair ended its run Saturday night with more of a drizzle than a bang. The rides were all but empty, fields converted into parking lots oozed mud, and attendance overall was way down.
Until Friday night, attendance was on par with last year, Johnny Love, fair manager, said. Though he couldn’t say exact numbers, he thought Friday night’s attendance was down about 25 percent, and he expected at least that much of a drop Saturday.
All the same, he said four new features ó the Hubba Bubba clown, the Amazing Rex and Dana, Hansen’s Thrill Show and the chain saw exhibit ó drew visitors.
Exhibits such as homewares, cakes and art were more plentiful than in the past, too, he said.
Rowan Helping Ministries did pretty well in this year’s fair, too, as people could bring canned foods and get discounted or free admission at points during the week. Love said on Monday alone, they hauled out six truckloads of food.
One spot that definitely wasn’t empty Saturday night was the exhibition hall, where Natural Miss and Master Rowan County Fair pageant took place for young boys and girls and women. Thirty-nine contestants and their families crowded in out of the rain ó except for a few stray leaks ó for competitions in 15 categories.
Boys competed in groups of ages up to 2, ages 3 to 5, and ages 6 and older.
Girls and women’s categories were broken down further into 12 groups, ranging from birth through a “Mrs.” category. The only competitor in that category, Tammy Hinson, is a six-year cancer survivor, and her only granddaughter, Charlotte Hinson, competed in the pageant as well.
All competitors won titles ó princes for boys, princesses for girls and women. One competitor in each category was awarded the title king or queen, and judges also gave awards for best smile, best eyes, best hair and best looking.
Wendy Ervin, one of the event organizers, said this is the first year the organization has brought the pageant to the Rowan County Fair and she wants to bring it back in the future.
But she hopes next year the rain will stay away.