Today is Sunday, June 25, 2017

Parting The Canebrakes: Wilson County Fair Part 2

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In the year 2000, the theme for that year was DISCOVER MILLENIUM MAGIC. That year, the Wilson County Fair saw a nine percent increase in attendance over the previous year. The attendance figures for 2000 were 280,097 individuals. This figure clearly indicates that this fair was the equal sequel to the 1999 Champion Fair. Livestock numbers included 145 Boer Goats, 495 head of sheep, 238 dairy goats, 441 head of beef cattle, 300 head of dairy cattle, 929 poultry entries, 629 rabbits, 491 horses and 78 market hogs and feeder pigs. The Champion hog sold for $3.60 per pound to the Lebanon Locker Company, while the Reserve Grand Champion sold for $2.25 per pound to All American Shows. Seventy- two sponsors participated in the Car Give-A-Way that year.

All American Shows returned that year, with new attractions which included the Mardi Gras Glass House, which included two stories of European style glass and mirrors, in addition to their other rides, games and food concessions. The Inverter was the most popular ride in America and it returned to the Wilson County Fair that year.

The Native American Village moved to Fiddlers Grove with food, dancing, and arts and crafts nightly.

The fair became the site of the prestigious World Barbeque Championship competition in the year 2000. Sixty-five teams participated from all over the world including two teams from Germany, one team from Switzerland and one team from South Africa--in total, 10 countries and 25 states were represented. Each year, the event is held in a different country. In 1999 it was held in Switzerland and in 2001 it would be held in Africa. This event was sanctioned by the World BBQ Association, with judging under the Kansas City Barbeque Society rules. The event hostesses, Kristina McKee and Wanda Bates planned a packed schedule with an emphasis on Southern Hospitality and a taste of Tennessee.

Fair officials chose Michael Blaine, a Hypnotist, to appear as entertainment at the 2000 Fair. Blaine had a methodical way of entertaining his crowd. During his performances, he worked with volunteers from his audience, who he put into an "altered state of consciousness" then he guided them through hilarious antics. All volunteers for his show had to be age 13 years and older, and they were selected after several warm up exercises. Once Blaine assembled a group on stage, he started them out with a group act. He would tell them that they would compete for a job and they would have to show him how well they could do the hula, ballet, disco and dance to the song YMCA. An audience favorite was acting like Elvis Presley or Miss America.

Many new educational demonstrations were featured in Fiddlers Grove, including toothbrush rug making, quill making and how to load and unload black powder into 1700's vintage guns. New additions to the architecture of the Grove that year included the Dedman Store and the Jordan House.

The featured Old Timer for the 2000 Wilson County Fair was Rev. W.L. Baker. Rev. Baker, aged 92 at the time, officially retired in 1973, but he continued his ministry by serving at 26 of Wilson County's 34 Baptist churches.

In 2001, the theme of the fair was WHERE TRADITION MEETS TOMORROW. The dates of the 2001 Wilson County Fair were August 17 through 25th. The attendance that year was 311,581 individuals. The midway was once again provided by All American Shows. All American Shows provided games, rides and food. Barbeque, corn on the cob to walking tacos, strawberries dipped in chocolate to frozen chocolate covered bananas. There was grilled sausage smothered in onions and peppers, taco salads, fresh squeezed lemonade, pork loin sandwiches, fried fruit pies, hand dipped ice cream, pizza, deep fried Oreos, hamburgers, cokes, 4-H barbequed chicken, popcorn, Mississippi Mud cake, chicken salad and so, so much more.

Music filled the air with jazz, bluegrass, fifties favorites, gospel, country, big band, fiddles, banjos, guitars, drums, bass fiddles, harmonicas, mandolins, and more.

There was storytelling at the Gazebo Stage in Fiddlers Grove by Guerry Jameson, Doc McConnell and Bonny Warren, there was the Magical Entertainment of Stephen Bargatze nightly, Old Timer Log Homes constructed a Town Hall onsite in Fiddlers Grove, and University Medical Center sponsored First Aid booths.

Comer's Plant Farm created a 2 acre Corn Maze for the Fair. The maze consisted of 600 feet of intersecting pathways through live cornstalks that were cut into the shape of five recognizable stock cars.

Perfection Dairy and Johnson's Dairy historical collections were placed in the Dedman Store to create the Wilson County Dairy Museum. The Jordan House in Fiddlers Grove was officially dedicated to Mr. Jim Ward who was for years the County Agent in Wilson County and was the individual for whom the James E. Ward Agricultural Center was named.

Some of the Tennessee license plates seen in the Fair parking areas were: Davidson, Robertson, Humphreys, Sumner, Trousdale, Cannon, and Williamson, Montgomery, Smith, Rutherford, Putnam, and DeKalb counties. Out of state plates seen included Florida, Michigan, Kentucky and Alaska!!

In 2001 The Wilson County Fair Old Timers were Melvin Arnett and Leona Sloan.

In 2002, the theme of the Fair was AN AMERICAN TRADITION. "Tradition..it's what sets the Wilson County Fair apart! America is based on tradition, both old and new, and so are we! The freedom of tradition is unique. It allows us to remember the way it was and to hope for the way it will be. We continue by passing on our knowledge to the next generation". This quote from the 2002 fair catalogue sums up the theme of the 2002 Wilson County Fair.

The Town Hall, constructed during the 2001 fair was dedicated in 2002. Each night during the fair a different honorary "Mayor of Fiddlers Grove" held a town meeting offering glimpses into the community's past. Among the "Mayors" were Robert Dedman, Jack Lowery, N.C. Hibbett, Kevin Mack, Mile Jennings, Edsel Floyd, Don Fox, Hale Moss and Frank Dudley.

  1. N. Cook Hardware made its debut during the 2002 Wilson County Fair. The store honors Sam Cook, who became a partner in his father's business in 1956 and who remained active in the hardware business until his death in 2000. James and Mary Ann Spears donated the building and stocked it with historical items from Mr. Cook's Hardware store.

A replica of Lebanon's first service station was built in Fiddlers Grove. Clay's Service Station is a museum dedicated to W. C. and Eddie Clay and it contains many items form the original garage. The station was run by Mr. Clay as a Pure Oil station until 1956. An antique Pure Oil gas pump stands in front of this museum.

Entertainment took on a new twist with the arrival of the River Chase Posse. They were a bunch of law abidin', gun totin' wise crackin', free shootin' frontier lawmen who demonstrated life as it might have been in an Old West frontier town from 1870 to 1900.

In 2002 the Wilson County Fair Old Timers were Jesse Coe and Mary Ferrell Hamilton.

In 2003, the theme of the Wilson County Fair was YESTERDAYS MEMORIES TOMORROWS DREAMS. The 2003 Wilson County Fair claimed top state honors when it brought home the trophy for CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS. The fair was judged on its exhibit buildings, food vendors, entertainment, overall cleanliness, number of entries in canning, baking, livestock shows, and improvements of=ver the previous year. President hale Moss stated "The collective efforts of 462 volunteers were the chief ingredient for the fair's success." Fair volunteers contributed 47,903 hours to stage the 2003 Wilson County Fair, which had 362,452 visitors. In addition to winning Champion of Champions, the fair also took first place in scrapbook competition, and in its Pick Tennessee Products exhibit in the statewide competition.

The Ford Motor Company became the Official sponsor for the fair. "Ride in a Ford and see the Fair for Free" announced an ad in the 1924 issue of a local newspaper. The Wilson County Fair was also the setting for the Ms. Senior Wilson contest. Another first was the North American Open Championship Chili Cook-Off Competition. A total of 48 participants from all over the United States joined in the heated contest which was held outside of Texas for the very first time.

In addition to the livestock shows, Reptile Adventures wowed fairgoers with reptiles of all shapes and sizes. Lawn mower races were introduced this year as the Middle Tennessee Lawnmower Racing Association offered prizes in seven divisions. Four new buildings were added to Fiddlers Grove: The Fiddlers Grove Garage which was constructed by the Antique Automobile Club of America-Middle Tennessee Region, Ligon and Bobo Funeral Home, Thompson-Partlow cabin was dedicated as the Century Farm Museum, and Wharton's Store. Wayne, Steve and Rusty Thompson were honored for their contributions in making possible the Century Farm Museum through the donation of the cabin from the Thompson Family at the annual Century Farm luncheon. Tennessee Farm Bureau communications director, Pettus Reed entertained the attendees with amusing stories about farm living.

God and Country Day was set aside as a special tribute to those who serve our country. The event also paid tribute to Major General (Ret.) Calrl Wallace.

According to Terry McPeak, the Grand Champion hog set a new record. The State of Tennessee record was set when the sale price for a market hog was $1400.00 which weighed in at 282 pounds.

Old Timers in 2003 were George Harding and Carrie Harris Lannom.

In 2004, the theme of the fair was CELEBRATING THE COLORS OF AMERICA. The Wilson County Fair took home the title of Premier Fair, meaning the fair which has won the Champion of Champions within a three year period. The dates of the 2004 Fair were August 13 through August 21st. The attendance that year was 427, 619.

Several new acts premiered that year. Rusty Gears the Robot, David Turner the ventriloquist and Todd, and outdoors show, Tennessee Wildlife Resources, and All American Shows had new ride, Gee Whiz, Cape Fear and Touchdown.

Canning was popular that year with over 400 entries.

In 2004, the Wilson County Fair Old Timers were Billy and Earlene Owen.

In 2005, the theme of the Wilson County Fair was BRIGHT LIGHTS AND SUMMER NIGHTS. The dates of the fair were August 19 through August 27th. The attendance that year was 411, 078 individuals.

"As the days grow longer and the nights grown warmer, it takes many of us back to our childhood summer times in the South, where the days were filled with swimming holes, hide-and-seek, and Mother's home cooking. It also reminds us of the time of year that we all looked forward to--the county fair. The lights seemed so bright on those long summer nights. The smell of popcorn and cotton candy in the air, as we gathered with all our family and friends to ride the rides, eat all the food we could hold, and just enjoy the fellowship of life. This (the Wilson County Fair) is the fairest of them all. It's become the standard by which Middle Tennessee fairs measure themselves. It's huge, jammed with every possible activity and contest".

This was the year that Andy Brummett was selected to be Fair Coordinator, which was the first full time position that the largest fair in the state had ever created.

Fiddlers Grove grew with the addition of four new buildings:WCOR Radio, McFarland Hospital, Tuckers Gap Depot and Pete Smith's Store.

Fiddlers Grove held its 14th Annual bluegrass Competition, with entrants in the Senior Fiddle division being R.B., Ped and Carl Scruggs of Hartsville. At least one of these brothers had entered the contest for the past 14 years.

The Al Menah Shriners were asked to help with a volunteer opportunity at the fair. The Wilson county Shrine Club made arrangements with All American Shows and the Fair Board to make rides available exclusively for special needs children.

Mr. Joe and Wilma Perry were the Wilson County Fair Old Timers of 2005.

In 2006, the theme of the fair was COUNTRY THINGS AMD CHILDRENS DREAMS. "There is nothing more innocent than a child's dream. It summons all sorts of imaginations. Summertime in the country lends itself to many hours of daydreaming under an old oak tree, passing the days away, where children can be anything or anywhere that they choose". The theme of the fair COUNTRY THEMES AND CHILDRENS DREAMS was named to the Top 20 list for the Southeast Tourism Society. The attendance of the 2006 Wilson county Fair was 419.756 individuals. The carnival was All American Shows.

The fair made a national newspaper, USA TODAY, with the mention of two new types of fun to attract fairgoers--a decorated skateboard contest and a text messaging contest. An event which made a comeback that year was the Mule Pull, where a team of mules pulled a weighted down sled.

Circo Garcia was a circus that entertained each day with daring acts. Other new attractions included the Texas Longhorn, Buster; the Ball Drop ride; Fried Twinkies; Germ City; And Wilbur the Pig, the star in the movie Charlotte's Web. Volunteers served 1,200 citizens at the Senior Citizens Picnic.

The Old Timers of 2006 were J.B. and Jo Doris Leftwich.

Five new buildings were added to Fiddlers Grove. The Tuckers Gap Deopt was fully restored as a train museum complete with model railroads. The Pete Smith Store was moved from Doaks Cross Roads featured Middle Tennessee Electric Museum's collection of antique toasters. The Livesay Grist Mill was up and running and the Rice Cabin from Gladeville was used as a storytelling museum. The Telephone Pioneers of South Central Bell constructed a new museum featuring the history of the telephone, complete with punch switchboards and rotary telephones.

In 2007, the theme of the fair was A TREASURE CHEST OF WILSON COUNTY'S BEST. The dates of the Wilson county Fair were August 17 through August August 25th. The attendance figures for this fair were 366,641 individuals. The theme of the fair showcased the best that Wilson County had to offer and it gave the hometown communities and the hometown folks their chance to shine.

Old Timers for 2007 were Mr. and Mrs. Newell Jenkins.

A new carnival company, new to the Wilson County Fair at least, it was Amusements of America, based out of New Jersey and it is operated by the Vivona Family. The carnival stepped in to play the Wilson County Fair when All American Shows went out of business. The Crazy Mouse, The Fireball and Antique Toast were some of the new attractions the Vivonas brought to the fair.

New to the fair this year was a donation from J. D. and Ann Floyd in the form of a caboose donated in memory of Billy Baxter. The caboose was officially named "Baxter" and was placed next to the Tucker's Gap Depot.

Fair food reached new heights at the2007 fair. Some vendors were local, while others traveled all over the country form Illinois to Florida. Many types of food are always available at the Wilson County Fair and they tempt the palate from just the smells wafting in the dusty air. Some fair favorites included fried Twinkies, Fried Snickers, Fried Milky Way candy bars, Fried Three Musketeers, Fried Moon Pies--all delivered courtesy of the Forbes family from Watertown, Tennessee. Other mouthwatering foods included Bloomin' Onions, shish kabobs, corn on the cob, corn dogs (regular and foot long), hamburgers and cheeseburgers, barbequed 4-H chicken, fried pickles, ice cream, apple dumplings, pizza, cinnamon rolls, funnel cakes, Polish and Italian sausage, taco salads, barbeque, steak sandwiches, cotton candy, candied apples, Kettle Corn and Walking Tacos. The main problem with fair food is deciding what to eat!

One new entertainer was added in 2007, that being Dale Jones, The One handed Juggler.

The Trash Can Decorating Contest included 28 entries decorated with an environmental theme and was submitted by all the public and private schools in the county.

Exciting arena events included the Lawnmower Races and the Demolition Derby--returning favorites year after year.

In 2008, the theme of the fair was HOMESPUN FAMILY FUN. The dates of the fair were August 15 through August 23rd. The attendance that year was 466, 119 individuals. The Carnival was Amusements of America. In that year, the fair won the prestigious "State's Premier Fair". The fair was a year of firsts which included a country music concert featuring Wilson County resident Tracy Lawrence. Along with this was a new covered arena which held not only the concert, but the very first inaugural Betty B. Freeman Memorial Walking Horse Classic. Paintless Paintball debuted in the world's largest inflatable arena. An Off-road challenge was also a first at this fair, and all in the name of Homespun Family Fun. Guitar Gus amazed visitors as a cowboy mime seated on a full size horse made entirely of horse shoes.

Shoes of every description including flip flops, cowboy boots, clogs and tennis shoes were duplicated in Plaster of Paris and were decorated and embellished in every imaginable way to represent all 50 states by students of W. A. Wright Elementary School for a project called Walk Across America.

The Middle Tennessee Ford Dealers were once again the main sponsors for the Fair. Ford planned s variety of events during the fair, which included Family Day, which gave $1.00 off of admission when visitors showed their Ford key or logo, saluted the 100th anniversary of the Model T during the parade, gave 6,000 tickets to fairgoers at their booth to the Walking Horse Celebration, exhibited 2008 Super Duty trucks, and a special ford cap to anyone who enter a Ford vehicle in the Antique Car Show.

The Music City Star commuter train provided a special roundtrip to the Fair on Sunday. Their train ticket also included admission to the fair. Special busses met the train to transport visitors to the fair. A handful of Atheists protested on God and Country Day. Fair officials diffused the situation by agreeing to allow them into the fair on the same terms extended to participants from local area churches. Quacky the Clown suffered a heart attack and he failed to make his fair appearance for the first time in many years. Doodles made his debut in 2008.

Sammie and Edna Forbes were honored as the Old Timers of the 2008 Wilson County Fair.

The Cunningham Farm received the Bicentennial Award. Mr. Harold Cunningham was the father of Helen McPeak and Ruth Correll.

The Hee Haw television prop, a building was presented to Fiddlers Grove. The small building was used as a stage with Joe Babcock of the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet along with his wife, Carol and daughter Lorrie to entertain as the Babcocks when the building was dedicated during the fair.

The Wilson County Fair held its first Crank It Up contest for homemade ice cream. The winner of the contest was Tommy Knowles, for his vanilla ice cream.

In 2009, the theme of the Wilson County Fair was CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF VOLUNTEERS. The dates of the 2009 Fair were August 21 through August 29th, and the attendance for that year was 505,434 individuals. The Carnival midway was again provided by Amusements of America. The weather was almost perfect. No rain at all and the daytime temperatures were in the 80's and after sundown, it dipped into the 70's.

In the areas of improvements to the grounds, the Opry Pavilion and stage were constructed in Fiddlers Grove. The Popcorn Stand in the Grove was added, the Midway was extended and the Crazy Mouse was a very big draw for the fair. An 1883 Cobbler's Shop was added to the Grove, we did new paving at the Orange gate and over at the Livestock arena, two sheds were added at the Covered Arena for the storage of gates and equipment. A new ticket booth was constructed. An area for Carnival living space including electrical hookups was provided. An addition to the Fair office was constructed. Flower beds with stacked stones were added. Educational themed gardens were provided. Storage buildings were constructed and fencing was put up to improve security at this storage area. We renovated the horse drawn hearse and added a carriage house to the Ligon and Bobo building in the Grove.

In the realm of entertainment, we had High Aerial Entertainment, Darryl Worley performed in concert, we had a Guitar Hero contest , we had a Moo Mania Show, we had a Banana Derby for the children to enjoy, we had Cowboy Town Real Western Gunfights, and we had the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree Live Radio Broadcast.

The 2009 Fair Old Timers were

In 2010, the theme of the Wilson County Fair was WILSON COUNTY FAIR--THE PLACE TO BE. Attendance that year for the fair was 397,075 individuals. The Amusements of America carnival provided the midway that year. The dates for the Wilson County Fair were August 13 through 21st, 2010.

Over 7.6 inches of rain fell during the nine day event. Three nights during the fair, the rides had to be shut down and were reopened several times. The fair was cancelled for the first time in history on Wednesday night due to hard rain and bad weather. Sponsorships decreased due to the weak economy. In spite of all of this, we still had a great Wilson County Fair.

The Ag Venture Barn was a huge success. Priefert Percherons had an exhibit and showed off at the livestock arena nightly. The Garcia Brothers Circus was on the Volunteer stage. Charlie Daniels performed to a very large crowd. Steve's Amazing Grace Dunking Donkey performed. We had sheep dogs and cattle dog demonstrations. We had a 4-H State Dairy Judging competition that was held in the new covered arena. Jammin' on the Midway stage was added.

In the areas of improvements, we added a new, covered livestock barn, we added a wash rack for the covered arena, we added new water and sewer lines, the old wire fencing was removed and a new white vinyl fence was added along the roadway at the new entrance. New storage buildings were constructed, a new storage barn was built to the Cobbler Shop. New paving was done at the covered livestock arena areas, and new electric service was added for the carnival. 100 trees were planted to start the Baddour Parkway Arboretum.

In 2010 the Wilson County Fair Old Timers were

In 2011, the theme of the fair was HATS OFF TO THE 2011 WILSON COUNTY FAIR. The attendance that year was 545,945 individuals. From August 12 through August 20th, 2011. The fair ran The weather was almost perfect. Temperatures were in the 80's during the day, and in the 70's after sundown. This was the first year to celebrate an agricultural commodity during the fair, and it was the Soybean. This enabled us to have an agricultural, educational focus and to promote the fair also.

Entertainment that year was attributed to a John Anderson Country Music concert, a Lumberjack Show, Cosmic Bots Robots strolling act, Puppeteers, Safari Greg, Zinghoppers, Cowboys , mounted on horses, shooting guns, a Rooster Crowing Contest, Soybean Recipe Contest, Wade Henry, High Roller, QR Code Scavenger hunt, Premium Quilts for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, ATV/Utility Flat Track Racking, Chainsaw Carvers.

As for improvements that year, A new entrance for the Motor Sports arena was widened and was paved, we did construction of a stone and iron entranceway and new fencing was added to Fiddlers Grove, entrances to parking lots were added and finally, the Antique Car Museum built an addition onto their building.

In 2011 the Wilson County Fair Old Timers were

In 2012, the theme of the fair was PULLING TOGETHER AT THE WILSON COUNTY FAIR. The fair ran from August 17 through August 25th, 2012. The attendance that year was 528,432 individuals. The weather was absolutely fantastic! Temperatures were again in the 80's during the daytime, and in the 70's after sundown. Amusements of America again provided an excellent midway.

In the areas of entertainment, a Clogging competition was added. We had the Vincent and Dailey Bluegrass Concert. We had Cookie and Cupcake Decorating contests. We had a Corn Recipe Contest. Timmy the Tractor made an appearance. Storytelling activities were added to Fiddlers Grove. The Frontier Museum had a display during the fair. We had the Rhinestone Rapper Wild West Show. Authors Day was held for the very first time. Daily Flower Show demonstrations were added to the festivities.

Improvements for 2012 included paving for the Midway expansion area, and at the Poultry and Rabbit Barn area. Paving was done over by the Motorsports arena. A new metal roof was installed at the Pageant Pavilion. Improvements were made to the Pageant dressing rooms. We put up new Bathroom signage to point the way. We installed a new wooden floor in the Town hall building in the Grove. Paving and curbing was added in Fiddlers Grove to help to correct water drainage problems. New concrete was added to the bleacher area at the Livestock arena. We put in new electric wiring and lighting for our storage sheds and the wash bay areas. New Crowd Control panels were purchased for the parking lots and for the show rings. New fencing and security gates were put up at the Livestock Exhibition area. Commercial fans were purchased for the Livestock Exhibition area. New exhibit displays were built for the adult exhibit areas. A new water wheel was built for the Livesay Grist Mill. A new First Aid Station was constructed. Electrical upgrades were made to the Pageant Pavilion. The Back Porch Stage and the Green gate both received electrical upgrades. Lighting upgrades were made in the Rabbit and Poultry Barn. New gravel roads were constructed in the Parking lots. Many of the building in Fiddlers Grove were painted and had roof repairs made, wood siding was repaired on many buildings, and we reworked the stacked rock foundations.

The 2012 Wilson County Fair Old Timers were

In 2013, the theme of the Wilson County Fair was TASTE THE FUN AT THE WILSON COUNTY FAIR. The dates of the fair were August 16 through August 24th. The total attendance for the Wilson County Fair was 589,229 individuals. Again, we had good weather for the Fair. The Music City Star offered two trips from Nashville to the Wilson County Fair. A new entrance and improved roads in the parking areas made traffic flow smoother for attendees.

Wilson Central High School had a special exhibit and they gave demonstrations on honey bees. We celebrated 100 years of Family and Consumer Science.

Improvements that year included a new Sparta Pike Entrance that was built and graveled, an addition was constructed onto the Poultry and Rabbit Barn and we poured a concrete floor in there. The Train Museum was added. New paving and drainage was completed for the Back Porch Stage area. Rain Gardens were added. The Pop Smartt Livestock Barn was painted that year. New coats of paint were put on restrooms and central air and heat were added to two restrooms. We also purchased 100 small animal pens for the livestock area. Electrical upgrades were made and new photography exhibits were built and a new baking display case was constructed.

The 2013 Wilson County Fair Old Timers were

In 2014, the theme of the Wilson county Fair was FARMERS, BOOTS AND COUNTRY ROOTS. The dates of the Wilson County Fair was August 15 through August 23rd. Weather was not cooperative this year, as it rained five nights out of the nine that we were open. A Farmers Breakfast was held for the very first time which honored our Wilson County Farmers. A video was produced featuring those that farm for a living and they shared their stories of why they farm.

New competitive classes were added featuring the theme and a tomato focus which included a tomato pie and a loaf tomato break in the baking contest. Tomato wine was displayed in competition in the Amateur Wine Show. Tomato Ice Cream was produced in the ice cream freeze off competition. Impressive displays were entered in the vegetables which included the best artistic display and the greatest variety of tomatoes.

Caps for Cancer were a new category and the caps were donated to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center after the fair was concluded.

An egg contest was held for the first time in both youth and adult categories. Eggs had to be produced by the exhibitors home flocks.

Sand in the City was a new competition where community organizations created on-the-spot sand and we had Bull Riding, Mutton Bustin' and a Calf Scramble, both of which were added attractions at the Livestock area. Wade Hayes and Mark Chestnut were the featured musical performers.

Improvements to the grounds included a new Entertainment Stage, the Goodall Homes Stage, the Master Gardeners Building, Cox's Hospitality Cabin, a new checkerboard admission booth, a porch was added to the Dedman store, and Seat's Studio /Photography Museum added a new building to the Grove. The Blacksmiths made metal stakes for the Baddour Parkway Arboretum tree identification program. Paving was done; additional roads were constructed in the parking lots, the perimeter fairground road for safety of Courtesy Carts. We purchased a John Deere tractor for the Ag Center. We also built new display shelves for the fruits, vegetables and honey entries.

The 2014 Wilson County Fair Old Timers were Grace Harbison and Mary Joe Haynes.

In 2015, there were 1,117 volunteers who donated 72,667 hours and gave of their time to make this FAIR the BEST !

OUR SPONSORS

Our sponsors are essential to our FAIR and we sincerely appreciate your support and participation in one of the largest events to be held in Tennessee.

YOU-THE EXHIBITORS AND PARTICIPANTS

Thank you to 5,522 exhibitors who exhibited 12,424 exhibits. Thank you for each item made for the flowers, fruits and vegetables grown, livestock raised and trained to show. Thank you for sharing your talents with each person who visited the Wilson County Fair. There were approximately 700 commercial booths, rides, food vendors and farm display exhibits. This is what makes our FAIR unique, gives us the opportunity to showcase Wilson County and to celebrate each year. This participation is crucial to our annual event.

OUR VISITORS & GUESTS

557, 702 people attended the 2015 Wilson County Fair to enjoy nine days packed with entertainment, food and fun. We continue to make WILSON COUNTY the place to be in August, with everyone working together!

2015

Even though the midway lights are gone, the livestock are back in the barns, the cotton candy machines have been packed away, the planning for the FAIR for next year has already begun. The Board would like to express our appreciation to you and to our county and city government for their tremendous support. The Wilson County Fair is a perfect example of people working together for the betterment of our county and the Wilson County Fair.

OUR FINANCIAL REPORT

In 2015, the Wilson County Fair had gate receipts of $928,429.39, carnival income of $588, 484.50 and income from sponsorships, entry fees, etc., estimated at $315,648.88. The fair paid premiums of $135,907.00 and the total cost of the 2015 fair was $1,571,772.57. The projected net income was $289,587.98. Wilson County Promotions is a non-profit corporation and all profits must be spent to produce next year's fair and to further the development of the James E. Ward Agricultural Center.

2015 Wilson County Fair

After Fair Facts and Figures

Agricultural Exhibits Entries Exhibitors

Beef Show 373 198

Dairy Show 459 122

Sheep Show 697 129

Swine Show 134 38

Mule Show 69 108

Goat Show 829 166

Poultry Show 366 49

Rabbit Show 424 68

Honey/Ham/Egg Show 193 82

Hay & Field Crops/Vegetables 703 189

Flowers & Plants 851 194

Domestic Arts (Needlework, sewing, canning & baking goods)

Youth 558 153

Adults 1540 418

FFA 35 18

Adult and Youth Art/Craft 1377 412

Adult and Youth Photography 1173 237

Motorized Entries/All others 2353 2323

Horse Shows 1290 618

FAIR ATTENDANCE----------------------------------------------------- 557,702

# of INDIVIDUAL ENTRIES 13,424

# of INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITORS 5,552

# of Commercial Exhibits 226

# of Volunteers 1,117

# of Volunteer Hours 72,667

2015 Fairest of the Fair

Elizabeth Armstead

2015 Ms. Senior Wilson County

Pat Acuff

Wilson County Old Timers For 2015

Johnny and Alice Trice

In 2016, The theme for this year's fair is "WE WANT TO SEE YOU AT THE WILSON COUNTY FAIR!".

In 2016, we will have a brand new event, which will be the Trapeze Thrill Show being held daily at the Volunteer Stage starting on August 19th !

We will also have the 2016 OffRoad Challenge, a new event, the 2016 Side-by-Side Time Trail Course, then we will have the 2016 Antique Farm Stock & Outlaw Tractor Pull!

In 2016, we will have the AGMA Championship Gated Mule Show, on Friday, Aigust 26th , at 6:00 pm , in the Wilson county Exhibition Center (building Y).

2016 FEATURED AGRICULTURIAL COMMODITY-----THE YEAR OF THE WATERMELON !

Watermelon Patch Schedule of Activities

  1. Friday, August 19th, @ 6 pm Sugar Baby Watermelon Bowling
  2. Saturday, August 20th, @ 12 pm Watermelon Carving for Adult (pre-register)
  3. Saturday, August 20th, @ 2 pm Watermelon Eating Contest (pre-register)
  4. Sunday, August 21st, @ 2 pm Watermelon Bubble Gum Blowing Contest
  5. Monday, August 22nd, @ 6 pm Watermelon Shuffleboard
  6. Tuesday, August 23rd, @ 6 pm Guess the weight of the Watermelon
  7. Wednesday, August 24th @ 6 pm Watermelon Rolling
  8. Thursday, August 25th, @ 6 pm Watermelon Head Decorating
  9. Friday, August 26th, @ 6 pm Guess the number of Watermelon Gumballs

In a jar.

  1. Saturday, August 27th, @ 2 pm Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

(pre-register)

Any questions to the above activities, please call Shari Bazydola at 615-969-7380

CONCERTS FOR 2016 !

Monday night, August 22nd, 7:30 pm, The Talleys on Monday night, August 22nd, at 8:30 pm. Jason Crabb at 8:30 pm....both of these will be Gospel Concerts in the Exhibition Building, Building Y.

Tuesday night, August 23rd, in the Wilson County Exhibition Center, Building Y, it will be the world renowned group the Oak Ridge Boys..both nights are being presented and sponsored by Bates Ford, Lebanon, Tennessee

Thursday night, August 25th, at 7:30 pm, in the Wilson County Exhibition Center, Building Y, it will be the Blues Brokers, sponsored by the Wilson County Fair and Wilson County !

WE WANT YOU AT THE WILSON COUNTY FAIR, AUGUST 19TH THROUGH THE 27TH, AT THE FIDDLERS GROVE OPRY, NIGHTLY AT 6:30 PM !

Appearing will be: Russ and Becky Jeffers, Johnny Counterfit, Roni Stoneman, John Beardsley, Teena Goans, Tim Atwood, Melvin Sloan, Tom and Beverly Grant, Rode West, Roy Thackerson, Karen Wheeler, Anita Stapleton.

WSM personalities taking part in the performances are; Charlie Mattos, Jonathan Shaffer, Bill Cody, Nan Kelley, Mike Terry, Eddie Stubbs, Marcia Campbell, Eric Marcum, Kelly Ann Monahan, Frank Seres, and Devon O'Day!

Sponsors are Lebanon Appliance, Lebanon Home Depot, Lebanon Distributing Company, S & H Construction, Inc., Rutland Place Senior Community, Bond Memorial Chapel, Lebanon Monument Company and ADC Paving !

ON THE ENTERTAINMENT STAGE, IT WILL BE RENE JONES, KARREE PHILLIPS, D & D TESTIMONY IN SONG, THE EVERMEAN EVERGREEN CLOGGERS, THE ALEX CARMICHAEL BAND, GOD'S REDEEMED, EXIT 219, AND RELEASE THE PRAISE !

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

ALL THE ABOVE ARE PRESENTED BY THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE FORD DEALERS !

On The Fiddlers Grove

BACK PORCH STAGE

ENTERTAINMENT WILL BE

FRIDAY, AUGUEST 19TH, KENNY AND AMANDA SMITH 7-10 PM AT NIGHT

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20TH, TOM BRANTLEY AND MISSIONARY RIDGE, STEVE HUBER AND THE FLATHEADS, CODE OF THE HILLS & ONE WAY OUT

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21ST, WILLIAMSON BRANCH, A STEP AHEAD

MONDAY, AUGUST 22ND, CRAIG MORRIS AND KING COTTON

TUESDAY, AUGUST, 23RD, MICHAEL FEAGAN AND FIDDLEGRASS

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24TH, JUSTAMERE BLUEGRASS BAND

THURSDAY, AUGUST 25TH, THE FARM HANDS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26TH, BLUEGRASS SOLUTIONS

SATURDAY, BLUEGRASS COMPLETIONS, ONE WAY OUT

ALSO APPEARING WILL BE;

CODE OF THE HILLS

ONE WAY OUT

THE FARM HANDS

WILLIAMSON BRANCH

A STEP AHEAD

MICHAEL FEAGAN & CUMBERLAND MOUNTAIN STRING BAND

THE 25TH ANNUAL FIDDLERS GROVE BLUEGRASS COMPETITION

(BACK PORCH STAGE)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27TH, 2016

GUITAR, MANDOLIN, BLUEGRASS BANJO, 1ST, $200, 2ND $150. 3RD $100

FIDDLE, THREE AGE GROUPS,

BEGINNERS 15 YEARS AND UNDER, $200, $150 $100

JUNIOR FIDDLE 16 YEARS AND UP $250, $175 $125

SENIOR FIDDLE. 51 YEARS AND UP

$250, $175, $125

2016 WILSON COUNTY FAIR, DEDICATION, NEW BARN AND EDUCATION CENTER

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27TH, 2016 AT 5:00 PM

ALSO HAPPENING IN 2016

ENTERTAINMENT--FUN FOR ALL AGES--AUGUST 19TH, THROUGH 27TH, 2016

AMUSEMENTS OF AMERICA,

AMERICA'S LARGEST TRAVELING AMUSEMENT PARK

PRESENTING CARNIVAL RIDES AT THE WILSON COUNTY FAIR!

THE RIDES FOR 2016

SPECTACULAR

  1. NEMESIS 360
  2. ALPINE BOBS
  3. BANZAI
  4. CRAZY MOUSE
  5. EXPERIENCE
  6. EAGLE 16 WHEEL
  7. FIREBALL
  8. GIANT WHEEL
  9. MOBY DICK
  10. MUSIL EXPRESS
  11. ORBITER (NEW)
  12. ROCK N ROLL
  13. SEA RAY (NEW)
  14. VERTIGO
  15. WAVESWINGER
  16. CASINO
  17. CLIFFHANGER
  18. STARSHIP (NEW)
  19. SCOOTER
  20. SIZZLER
  21. SLIDE
  22. SUPER SLIDE
  23. TILT A WHIRL
  24. TORNADO
  25. ZERO GRAVITY

FRONTS

  1. HAUNTED HOUSE
  2. MARDI GRAS
  3. RAINBOW ROCK
  4. ROCK N ROLL
  5. SPONGE BOB

KIDDIE RIDES

  1. BEES
  2. CONSTRUCTION ZONE
  3. ELEPHANTS
  4. FAMILY SWINGER
  5. FAR WEST TRAIN
  6. FROG HOPPER
  7. GO GATOR
  8. HAMPTON MOTORCYCLES
  9. HAMPTON QUADRUNNER
  10. HAMPTON VW CARS
  11. HAMPTON WAVERUNNER
  12. HOG RALLY
  13. KIDDIE WHEEL
  14. MERRY GO ROUND 1
  15. MERRY GO ROUND 3
  16. MONKEYS
  17. ROCK N TUG
  18. SLIDE
  19. SPEEDWAY
  20. TEA CUP (NEW)
  21. WACKY WORM
  22. WET GATOR
  23. WIGGLE WORM

ALSO APPEARING NIGHTLY DURING THE FAIR WILL BE: FLYING PAGES, DOODLES THE CLOWN, MICHAEL BLAINE, HYPNOTIST, HIGH ROLLER, WADE HENRY, FIREWORKS NIGHTLY AT 10 PM, DAVID TURNER AND FRIENDS, CIRCLE C RACING PIGS AND PETTING ZOO.

THE OLDTIMERS BEING HONORED IN 2016 ARE DAN AND VONDIE SMITH !

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