There’s been more than a hint of fall in the air late this week — and in Cobb County, that is synonymous with the opening of the annual North Georgia State Fair.
Going to the fair has been a fall tradition for at least three generations of Cobb Countians, ever since 1932. It’s the largest show of its type in metro Atlanta and annually attracts close to 300,000 people. How does the fair manage to do it year after year? By combining carnival attractions, country music, gospel music and traditional, clean-cut entertainment.
Fair-goers this year, as before, are apt to come across flower shows, blue-ribbon competitions, beauty contests, square dancers, farm animals, singers and all sorts of tasty food.
The newest additions to the fair this year are a 2,000-foot-long chair lift ride — said to be the longest statewide — and an interactive sea lion act.
“We think that’s going to be a huge hit this year,” said Fair manager Tod Miller. “Four sea lions and a baby in the show. It’s amazing.”
Back this year are the 90-foot-tall Seattle Wheel Ferris Wheel and the WildCat Rollercoaster, which features an overlapping and interlocking figure-8 configuration that is 215 feet long, 75 feet deep and 60 feet high. Riders enjoy tight turns and sharp drops at 40 mph. Keep in mind as well that the WildCat is the largest fair rollercoaster in the country.
Among the featured musical acts this year are legendary country music singer Loretta Lynn, Lauren Alaina, Lee Brice, Colt Ford and Jerrod Niemann, as well as Phillips, Craig and Dean who are performing tonight.
Admission is $7 for adults while children under 10 get in free. Daily admission specials can be found online at northgeorgiastatefair.com, with parking just $3 per car. Tickets for rides are $1 each, with books of 22 tickets going for $20 or 55 tickets for $50. Most rides require three or four tickets, with the rollercoaster taking five.
“It’s a great community event and affordable entertainment,” said Miller. “We’re in the business of ‘fun’ and we think we provide that, along with a good family atmosphere.”
As always, a cornerstone of the fair will be the James H. Drew Exposition carnival midway, including the tilt-a-whirl, carnival rides, kiddie rides, pony rides, cotton candy — you name it.
The Fair opened Thursday and runs through Sept. 29.
If rides aren’t your thing, there also will be numerous exhibits ranging from baked goods to quilting to plants to dancing.
For more on the fair, call (770) 423-1330, read the advertisement elsewhere in this newspaper or visit www.northgeorgiastatefair.com.
The North Georgia State Fair is one of Cobb County’s finest traditions, one whose arrival every September helps herald the coming of fall to our county. We’re glad to see it continuing to thrive.