The Columbia County fairgrounds will come to life Thursday, Oct. 31, with the lights, sounds and scents of the fair. Gates open to the Columbia County Fair at 5 p.m.
“We have a good fair going on out there,” said Jim Drew, the owner of midway provider Drew Exposition. “It’s a good place for families. … It’s just a good, clean place.”
The 48th annual fair, put on by the Merchants Association of Columbia County, runs through Nov. 9 at the fairgrounds on Columbia Road across from Patriots Park near Grovetown.
Nightly shows include the Sea Lion Splash, Vortex of DOOM, Motorcycle Globe and Tower of Chairs and master chainsaw carver Brian Ruth, in addition to Oscar the Robot and a petting zoo. All shows are free with admission.
A demolition derby will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Friday.
“It was such a success that we decided to do it twice this year,” Merchants President Richard Felder said, adding that the derby was held only one night last year. “It was very, very popular, so we brought it back for two nights this year. We’re very excited about that.”
Drew, who has provided the midway at the fair for a decade, said it includes lots of popular rides such as the Seattle Wheel, Himalaya, Cyclops, Sizzler and Tornado, and also includes lots of rides for children.
A new roller coaster, the Yippo, will allow families of adults and children to ride together.
“Everybody can ride,” Drew said. “It’s a good little coaster.”
Mike Zapata, a Merchants lifetime director and fair chairman, said volunteers work to organize the fair year-round. When the gates open, the results make all the work worth it.
“We’ve got a real good core group of folks, family-oriented, in our group that enjoy seeing the families come there and enjoy seeing the families having a good time and also getting a value for their money,” Zapata said.
The fair is the Merchants’ largest fundraiser. Proceeds go toward maintaining and improving the fairgrounds, and several thousand dollars are donated annually to several charities.
“I enjoy seeing people come out here. I like the end product,” Zapata said. “We’ve got great people doing a lot of work down here. My people are the ones that put this thing together. Without them, this thing would never come on.”
COLUMBIA COUNTY FAIR
The 48th annual Columbia County Fair runs through Nov. 9 at the fairgrounds on Columbia Road across from Patriots Park near Grovetown. For more details, see columbiacountyfair.net.
THURSDAY, 5-11 p.m.; $5 or free with four nonperishable food items for Columbia County Cares; free for ages 55 and older; unlimited rides for $20; Gods of Thunder (KISS tribute band)
FRIDAY, 5 p.m. to midnight; $5; Morris Davidson Band
SATURDAY, Kids Day, noon to midnight; $5; free rides noon to 1 p.m.; Tim Cadiere
SUNDAY, 1-11 p.m.; $5; unlimited rides for $20; $1 discount for students
MONDAY, Military Appreciation Day, 5-11 p.m.; $5; $3 with military ID; unlimited rides for $20; entertainment: Cricket Ridge; Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, Apollo Night & Toys for Tots Night, 5-11 p.m.; $5 or free with a new toy; Karaoke (ages 12 and younger) with Tony Howard
WEDNESDAY, 5-11 p.m.; $5; unlimited rides for $20; Ippie Music; UGA Georgettes at 6:30 p.m.
NOV. 7, Apollo Night, 5-11 p.m.; $5; unlimited rides for $20; entertainment: Karaoke (ages 13 and older) with Tony Howard
NOV. 8, 5 p.m. to midnight; $5; The Remedy; Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m.
NOV. 9, Kids Day, noon to midnight; $5; free rides noon to 1 p.m.; John Kolbeck Trio; master chainsaw carver Brian Ruth, auction at 9 p.m.