NASHVILLE – While Tennesseans settle into a new school year and get ready for fall, the fair season is still going strong.
Fairs fill a unique role in our communities, and provide all visitors the chance to have fun, learn about Tennessee’s agricultural past and see the promise of its future.
From big-name music acts to baking contests to pig racing, local fairs will offer a unique experience. Many fairgrounds have educational exhibits like pioneer villages or Native American camps that come to life during the fair with costumed guides, wildlife shows, and traditional craftsmen. Demolition derbies, beauty pageants, tractor pulls, car and cash giveaways, fiddling contests, cook-offs and any number of events pull in crowds and heighten excitement.
All of Tennessee’s 60 agricultural fairs are run independently. About 18,000 volunteers statewide donate their time to create a successful event, and many work year-round to plan for a fair that will run for a few days up to two weeks. The size and style of fairs varies from county to county, but farm life and community involvement are always the theme.
Tennessee’s fair season technically begins in June, but August is a popular month for fairs across the state, as crops mature and harvesting begins. The Tennessee State Fair in September is in Nashville, and county fairs will continue to showcase all things agriculture through October. Regional fairs will also take place in the coming months, including the Appalachian Fair, Tennessee Valley Fair, Middle Tennessee District Fair, West Tennessee State Fair and Delta Fair.
The Wilson County Fair, sponsored by Middle Tennessee Ford Dealers, will continue through Aug. 25 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.
Agriculture-related portions of a county fair receive state support. Livestock shows, contests for food production and preservation, fiber production and use, and agricultural youth organization programs all help keep Tennessee’s county fairs rooted in farm culture. Last year, fairs paid out more than $1 million in premiums for more than 200,000 agricultural exhibits. More than 3 million people visit Tennessee fairs.
Find a complete listing of fairs throughout the state, fair dates and contact information at picktnproducts.org and with the PickTN mobile app. For more information on the Wilson County Fair, visit wilsoncountyfair.net.