The Wilson County Fair received an unexpected endorsement on national television Tuesday.
Actress Ashley Judd, a Kentucky native and Williamson County resident, appeared on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday, where Kimmel pulled out a photo of Judd crouched down and petting pigs.
“Those are my pet pigs from the Wilson County Fair in Tennessee,” said Judd.
She then gave the fair an unexpected plug.
“The Wilson County Fair is the best fair in the state of Tennessee, so I love it every year,” said Judd.
“Do you go to a lot of fairs, that you are rating them against each other?” asked Kimmel.
“I like fairs,” said Judd.
She later mentioned how much she enjoys all the fair’s agricultural events, such as the biggest tomato contest.
Hale Moss, president of the Wilson County Fair, said he knew Judd had attended the fair several times, but her comments Tuesday night were pleasantly unexpected.
“A friend of ours called early that [next] morning and said they had seen the Jimmy Kimmel show and heard it,” said Moss. “After that, several of our fair board members began to send messages that they had seen it or heard about it.”
Moss said it’s not unusual for celebrities to visit the Wilson County Fair, but fair officials try not to point out when they’re there.
“We try to respect celebrities’ privacy…make it real low key so that they’re able to enjoy the fair experience,” said Moss. “When they get the opportunity to experience the true flavor of the county fair, it’s paid off with huge dividends.”
Moss said the Wilson County Fair has been recognized in national print media, such as USA Today, but this is the first time he can recall that it’s been recognized on a nationally broadcast show.
“I think certainly a recognition like this is a great compliment to Wilson County and the volunteers that put on the fair each year and to realize the fair and its agricultural activities are important and recognized by people like Ashley Judd,” said Moss.
He said fair officials are planning to issue an invitation to Kimmel to attend the fair. They also are already thinking about how they may repay Judd for the compliment.
“We might issue her an invitation to award the ribbon in the biggest tomato contest,” said Moss.