Originally created 11/04/04

New rides, acts greet patrons of fair



The Georgia-Carolina State Fair wants to put a spell on you.

The 82nd annual fair, which opens Friday at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds at Fourth and Hale streets, this year features hypnotist Travis Fox and his Las Vegas-type show. He will perform each day at 6, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

More in the mood for trained animal acts? Sea lions will balance, catch and retrieve stuff, do handstands, dance, sing and interact with the audience each night, according to Squalus, Inc., the agency that puts on the show. The sea lions perform at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Joe Taylor, the fair manager and a club member, said new rides include the Wave Swinger, a giant swing; the Drop, which takes 16 people up about 100 feet before dropping down; a giant Ferris wheel; and the Remix, a "two-seater that spins round and round as you go up and down."

Two popular events that will return are Georgia-Carolina Clogging, held at 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, and the youth and young adult talent competition at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, Nov. 12, with finals at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13.

An exhibition of local dance groups will be held Nov. 13, as will the Sunburst Beauty Pageant for a junior king and queen.

Last year's one night of karaoke will be upped to three and held with WKXC-FM Kicks 99 at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and with WPRW-FM Power 107 at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12. There will be a concert with WCHZ-FM 95 Rock on Thursday, Nov. 11.

As an agricultural fair, Mr. Taylor said there will be beef, dairy, goat and swine in the Future Farmers of America Competition, where high school students from more than 20 counties in South Carolina and Georgia bring their animals to show and compete for prize money and ribbons. Competitions for money in arts and crafts, photography, china painting, quilting, needlepoint and more will be in the community building.

Mr. Taylor said 150 members of the Exchange Club work the 19 acres of fairground each year, not counting the ride operators and ticket and food sellers, and that the carnival makes a huge economic impact.

"Our total contributions go back into the community, with the charities we give to and prize money, is approximately $150,000 and most of that goes to youth," he said.

All's Fair

What: 2004 Georgia-Carolina State Fair

Where: Exchange Club Fairgrounds, Fourth and Hale streets, downtown Augusta

Cost: Gate admission, $5, age 5 and younger, free; unlimited rides, $15, Exchange Club secured parking, $5

Hours: Gates open 4 to 11 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; noon to 11 p.m. Sunday

Information: Call 722-0202 or visit www.georgiacarolinastatefair.com

Event specials

Saturday and Nov. 13: Free admission for students, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday and Nov. 14: Free admission age 55 and older; free admission with any church bulletin; free admission for students all day

Monday: Free admission with ID for public safety officers and their families

Tuesday: Free admission with coupon from The Augusta Chronicle

Wednesday: Free admission military personnel, with ID; free admission teachers, with ID

Thursday, Nov 11: Ages 18 and older, free admission with any non-winning Georgia Lottery ticket

Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or samantha.mckevie@augustachronicle.com.