FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. — September brings with it an air of excitement in south central Middle Tennessee in anticipation of the week-long, award-winning Lincoln County Fair. This annual event features a full slate of thrilling carnival rides, games, entertainment, arts, beauty pageants, agricultural exhibits, harness racing, demolition derbies, great food and much more.
The 111th Lincoln County Fair kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 12, and winds down on Saturday, Sept. 19. The event boasts one of the largest agricultural fairs in the state, with more than 100,000 fairgoers enjoying the rides, attractions and fun foods each year.
Three times since its inception, the Lincoln County Fair has been awarded the “Champion of Champions” award. The most recent award was in 2010, when the fair was awarded the highest award bestowed to a county fair in the state of Tennessee, presented by the Tennessee Association of Fairs.
This county fair has survived the Great Depression, World War II and several other adversities, and the success of the fair is a result of the hard work and dedication of the all-volunteer organization. This includes about 100 fair board members and officers and several hundred volunteers committed to sharing their enthusiasm for the community, agriculture and family fun.
Corporate sponsors are essential in getting the fair started each year, with 80-percent of the income generated by gate admission fees re-invested into the production of the fair. That includes paying premiums to exhibitors.
Randy Cowley, Lincoln County Fair president, said this year on Friday night, Sept. 11, during preparation for the barbecue cook-off, there will be free admission to the fair, and although the Midway will be closed, there will be lots of activities for kids, including a moon bounce, corn hole tournament, dunking booth and laser tag for a small fee.
“People can come in and look around with no admission,” Cowley said.
Admission on the first Saturday night is $20, and that includes armbands for exciting rides from 1 p.m. until closing and for the spectacular evening concerts.
Other events Saturday include the 15th Annual Cook-off for youth and adults. Judging in the agri-cultural department com-mences, along with 4-H all sections and judging of en-tries in the Creative Living Department.
Three country music entertainers will ignite the crowd on the first Saturday, featuring Craig Wayne Boyd, the 2014 Voice Winner, Natalie Stovall and the Drive and Kacey Smith.
First up at 7 p.m. is Kacey Smith, a native of rural Tennessee, where she developed her singing abilities and entertainment style. She has performed in many states in a variety of venues. She writes songs and does many studio recordings. She has performed for Jack Daniel’s International BBQ Competition, The CMA Fest and Texas Songwriter’s Cruise and has performed at the world famous Bluebird Cafe.
Next, at 8 p.m., Natalie Stovall appears with The Drive. Natalie has been playing professionally since she was 10 years old and has performed at multiple venues, including the White House and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Performing over 200 dates per year, the Drive’s success has been attributed to family values and hard work.
In 2012, the group was named Entertainers of the Year by Campus Activities Magazine. This summer, they returned from the Middle East on one of their many Navy Entertainment Tours in support of US troops across the globe.
Led by lead vocalist Natalie Stovall, The Drive includes drummer, James Bavendam of Seattle, Chile’s Miguel Cancino on guitar, Zach Morse of Cheyenne, Wyo., on bass and vocals and Joel Dormer, guitarist and vocalist, of Redding, Calif.
Craig Wayne Boyd makes his appearance at 9 p.m. Boyd captured the limelight when he was a contestant and eventual winner on the seventh season of the television show, The Voice, in 2014. Years ago, the Texas native was drawn to gospel and country music, was active in his church choir and eventually became its director.
In the early 2000s, he moved to Nashville to pursue his dream of a career in the music business. When he auditioned for the seventh season of The Voice, his voice, performance and musical versatility made him a fan favorite, and eventually the overall winner in the contest.
Sunday through Thursday gate admission is $7 for ages six and up, and children under six get in free. Carnival ride enthusiasts will enjoy armband day on Sunday with all-you-can-ride from 1 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. for $20, plus admission.
The annual fair features events daily, including the annual Dairy Goat Showmanship Class and Shows (4-H, FFA and Open); Quarter Horse, Pony Races and Mule Races; cattle shows; a Fairest of the Fair pageant; harness racing; a crowd favorite Demolition Derby; a four-wheel drive, drag race mud bog; a sanctioned Truck & Tractor Pull; an antique tractor show; plenty of armband days; lots of rides and lots of good food.
Season passes to the fair may be purchased for $45, and parking is available inside the fairgrounds for $5.
For a full schedule of events, fair entry dates and rules, go online to <www.lincolncountyfairtn.com>.