The Marion County Fair winds down this weekend, and four more regional county fairs open their gates in the coming week. The annual fairs are a "show and tell" of the best livestock, flowers, baking and domestic arts of rural residents, all of whom hope to take home bragging rights with a Best in Show title.
MARION COUNTY FAIR
Dates: Today and Saturday.
Location: 1 Dairy Queen Way, Jasper, Tenn.
Gates open: 5 p.m. today, 3 p.m. Saturday (all times Central).
Admission: $2; additional cost for midway rides.
Highlights: Tonight, Family Feud competition at 6, dunking booth, mechanical bull riding, horse show, music by Dankirk. Saturday, poultry show, Shasta's Cheer performance, Heart & Soul dancers, dunking booth, karate demonstration, The Patrons, lawmower racing.
CUMBERLAND COUNTY FAIR
Dates: Today-Sept. 3.
Location: 1391 Livingston Road, Crossville, Tenn.
Secondary location: Stone Memorial High School in Crossville
Gates open: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Highlights: Fairest of the Fair pageants at high school tonight at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 6 and 8 p.m. Midway opens Monday. Concert by Ronnie McDowell Tuesday at 8 p.m. Wednesday is Senior Citizen Day with horseshoe contest and performance by Gold City at 7:30 p.m. Family Farm Olympics starts at 2 p.m. Sept. 3, followed by a horse and mule show at 7 p.m.
SEQUATCHIE COUNTY FAIR
Dates: Tuesday-Sept. 3.
Location: Heard Street in Dunlap, Tenn.
Gates open: Noon daily, midway open 6-10 nightly (all times are Central).
Admission: $3 gate except Sept. 2 when $5.
Highlights: Silent auction noon-7 p.m. Wednesday and talent show 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Sept. 2 is Senior Citizens Day with a pet show at 5 p.m. Grand Ole Opry member Mike Snider and his string band perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 3.
MIDEAST TENNESSEE REGIONAL FAIR
Dates: Wednesday-Sept. 3.
Location: Athens Regional Park, Athens, Tenn. Take Exit 49 off I-75, travel east one mile, and entrance is on right.
Gates open: 6 p.m. Wednesday, 2 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Sept. 2, 11 a.m. Sept. 3.
Admission: $4; $15 armbands for unlimited midway rides or purchase individual tickets.
Highlights: Gospel and rock performers, carnival rides, baked goods, horticulture and floral designs, beauty pageant, agriculture and commercial exhibits, motorsports, rodeo, pet show, antique tractor display and livestock shows.
RHEA COUNTY FAIR
Dates: Thursday-Sept. 5.
Location: Rhea County Ag Center in Evensville, Tenn., Eagle Lane off Highway 27 across from Rhea County High School.
Gates open: 4 p.m. Thursday and Sept. 2, 8 a.m. Sept. 3, 12:30 p.m. Sept. 4, 8 a.m. Sept. 5.
Admission: $5 adults, $2 children.
Highlights: Fairest of Fair pageants Sept. 3, gospel performances every half hour on Sept. 4, Old-Timers Day Sept. 5, Grand Ole Opry member Mike Snider performs at 6 p.m. Sept. 5.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...