Attending the Georgia-Carolina State Fair is a tradition in Joe Taylor’s family.
“My daddy went to the fair. He was born two years after the fair started. When I was old enough, he took me,” said Taylor, the fair manager, whose children and grandchildren have all attended the event, which will be Oct. 18-27 at the Augusta Exchange Club Fairgrounds.
Celebrating its 91st year, this fair will bring a few new attractions.
“We have really upgraded the rides for the younger ones who can’t ride the big rides yet,” he said.
Some favorites will return.
“The big ship hasn’t been here in the last three years,” he said.
And other favorites have gotten an overhaul, such as the Ferris wheel, which has received an expensive facelift.
“They spent about $300,000 to replace the lights. They are all LED and computerized. It has 250 different hues,” he said.
There’s more to the fair than carnival rides and games, however.
“It truly is a fair,” he said. “We have livestock events where the children show the animals. There’s a talent show, photography contest and the Miss Fair pageant.”
There are other numerous contests for adults and youth in areas such as art, needlework, china painting and models. The 4H and FFA livestock shows feature several categories including beef, dairy, goat, steer and swine.
With nearly a century of fairs in its history, the Georgia-Carolina State Fair attracts people for a variety of reasons, and Taylor said they like to ask people the reasons they attend.
“There are so many facets to the fair,” said Taylor. “Some people say their only reason to come is to watch people. Some people always come for the Italian sausage.”
Whatever the reason, the crowds continue to come. Last year, the fair, which is a fundraiser for the Exchange Club of Augusta, raised about $170,000 for charities. Each year, the organization gives proceeds to between 28 and 30 child-serving charities, all of them local except the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia.
The fair is open at 5 p.m. on weekdays and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. There are numerous gate specials during the fair. Check the Web site, georgiacarolinastatefair.com for details.