Fair weather in the forecast

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

If you are new to Lawrence County you may not know the special term a lot of us have for the lower temperatures and humidity we’re enjoying now. We don’t say ‘fall is in the air,’ it’s Fair Weather.

The Middle Tennessee District Fair equals autumn here, and not just because of its spot on the calendar. Much cooler temperatures often arrive with it and that feeling is embedded in our memories, right alongside the sights and smells of the Fair.

The Fair is full of traditions. The oldest are agriculture and home economic contests and displays. Awards are given to the best farm products, from peanuts to popcorn to pumpkins. We see the best baked goods, needlework, quilting, crochet, and canned goods. A short walk away are the livestock pavilion and competitions for beef and dairy cattle, goats, sheep, rabbits and poultry.

Traditional events include the Fairest of the Fair contests (held at the Crockett Theatre because of Fair weather), a demolition derby, truck and tractor pulls, the Junk Car Jump ‘n’ Run, motorcycle races, and a concert. This year’s headliner is Kameron Marlowe; others who have performed here include George Jones, Garth Brooks, and Reba McEntire.

Another great tradition is Senior Citizens Day, sponsored by STRHS Lawrenceburg and NHC Scott. All are treated to a free meal, provided by longtime food vendor Aunt Martha’s and Boyd’s Funnel Cakes. It’s a huge treat for our seniors, especially those who are brought by vanloads from local extended-care facilities. And we can’t forget School Day, when all students and teachers are admitted free.

Along with its traditions, the Fair always offers something new. This year’s schedule includes a donkey basketball game, featuring teams from the Sheriff’s Department, EMS, Lawrenceburg Fire and Police. For all our sakes, I hope the donkeys don’t win.

The Fair does great things for our community year ‘round. It serves as the major fundraiser of the year for most of the nonprofits involved, from those with food booths to the Kiwanis Club, which takes charge of parking to raise funds for projects involving local youth. Other nonprofits get a chance to spread the word about their work from booths in the exhibit hall.

These local charities benefit from more than Lawrence County dollars. Hundreds of visitors come to our Fair, including a group of students from Freed-Hardeman who come to at least one of our motorsports events. Some visitors have told Rotarians that they skip their own fairs in order to save money for ours.

Many thanks to the Lawrenceburg Rotary Club, which has sponsored the Fair since 1950, when its current location was called “Fairview Park.” “Rotary Park” reflects the fact that the club spends much of its Fair proceeds on upkeep and improvements there, in partnership with the City of Lawrenceburg. The partnership built a 4,600-seat covered arena in 2014, making it possible for bigger and better events to be held there any time of the year.

Whether 2023 is your first Fair or your 80th, I hope you enjoy it. If we’re lucky, we can even wear our jackets.

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