The Wilson County Fair-Tennessee State Fair kicks off Thursday for a 10-day run, and free COVID-19 vaccines will be available, organizers announced Friday.

The effort is a partnership with Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, and the limited number of shots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the first aid station in the Farm Bureau Expo Center.

This is the first year for the combined fair and the first it will be 10 days. Last year’s fair was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsored by Mid-South Ford and put on by the nonprofit Wilson County Promotions, the fair annually attracts more than 500,000 visitors over the course of its run.

Honoring the agriculture roots of the fair, this year’s agriculture commodity focus will be the Year of Beef.

American Ninja Warrior and cowboy ninja, Lance Pekus, will be here all 10 days for a meet and greet and to run the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” Ninja course presented by the Tennessee Beef Industry Council. Times for those who want to try the course just for fun will also be available. Beef will also be celebrated at the Big Beef Showdown presented by Burger Republic on Aug. 14.

This year’s fair theme is Honoring Hometown Heroes. Every day, the fair will be honoring, thanking, and celebrating different local heroes.

Exhibits, pageants, livestock shows, commercial booths, the Ag Venture Barn, hypnotists, exotic animals, a circus, clowns, ventriloquist along with many different music acts and more ensure that there is something for all ages to enjoy.

Bates Ford presents in concert The Frontmen of Country with Janelle Arthur opening that will hit the entertainment stage at 7 p.m. Aug. 16. Throughout the fair, there will be plenty of entertainment on eight stages.

The motorsports arena will feature super and tractor pulls, antique tractor pull, four-wheeler rodeo, side-by-side and demolition and lawn mower derbies.

Fiddlers Grove Historic Village, with over 60 buildings where artisans and storytellers will celebrate 225 years of statehood for Tennessee. There is also an operating grist mill, broom and sorghum making, glass blowing and more.

And what’s a fair with out a carnival. Reithoffer Shows returns with more than 60 attractions, including 28 kiddie rides, 17 major rides, six spectacular rides, 10 super spectacular rides plus the Euro Slide.

Satellite parking is available at multiple locations this year. In addition to the Cumberland University football field parking and Baird Park (415 Harding Dr.), First Baptist Church (227 E. Main St. and Market St.) along with the Wilson County Courthouse (228 E. Main St.) will have shuttles stopping continuously during the following times: Monday- Friday from 4-11 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information and to buy tickets, go to www.wilsoncountyfair.net.

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