The Wilson County Fair has always attracted huge crowds to Lebanon, but now that it’s also the Tennessee State Fair, that circle of attendees just keeps growing.

Nearly 200,000 people have already checked in through the front gates with that number expected to rise considerably as the week rolls on, according to fair officials. Considering the bleak weather over the weekend, those expectations stand a good chance of being met as the fair runs through Saturday.

During the sunnier hours of Saturday, many were out enjoying the rides, shows and events offered at the fair. One Murfreesboro man, Tim Morrow, said he’s a pretty avid fair goer, but that when he found out about the Tennessee State Fair connection, he “definitely wasn’t going to miss out.”

Another guest, Nick Konyha of Donelson, said he’d been to the state fair when it was in Nashville many times. Konyha also said he was no stranger to the Wilson County Fair. Contemplating on the collaboration between the two, Konyha said that it seemed to be beneficial to both sides. “For instance, it’s more organized,” he said, pointing to the streamlined parking set up.

Konyha shared this sentiment with several people at the fairgrounds who say the new bigger fair is better. One such individual, Chase Carillon, of Pleasant View, admitted he hadn’t been to the state fair a few years, but that “it being out here (in Wilson County) has been a big improvement.”

David Esquivel of Davidson County, described his Saturday as “a great time.” Esquivel said he had been to the state fair many times but, “This is a lot bigger than the state fair.”

“The food and all has just been fantastic,” he added.

One family that was out traipsing the fairgrounds Saturday had ventured in from Smith Grove, Kentucky. Kim Wyre said that her husband is from Lebanon, so they try to make the fair every year. Needless to say, they were disappointed when it was canceled last year, and so were happy to be back and to see how it had grown through collaboration with the state fair.

Both Jordan Mitchell and Kendell Ragsdale of Murfreesboro were also excited to see how much bigger it would be combined with the state fair. The two said what they’d seen and been able to do so far had not disappointed.

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