By Tiffeny Owens
The Cullman Times
A ferris wheel, amusement rides and tents are about to take over Cullman’s nothern skyline. The 59th Annual Cullman County Fair is coming to town this month, kicking off with a parade through the heart of the city Saturday afternoon.
Organizers hope last year’s crowd of 40,000 to 50,000 attendees will return to the Cullman County Fairgrounds on Sportsman Lake Road Northwest this year. More than 150 groups will participate in Saturday’s parade, including churches, clubs, high school marching bands and the eight contestants in the Miss Cullman County Fair Pageant, said Jerry Bonner, fair office manager. The parade will start 2 p.m. at Seventh Street Southeast and head north on U.S. 31 to the Cullman Shopping Center. The highway will be closed during the parade.
Crafts, sewing, canning, photography, art, food, field crops and apiculture will be judged Thursday prior to gates opening for the public at 5 p.m. after ribbon cutting and flag raising ceremonies. Peinhardt Farm Animals at the Tri-Green Agriculture Barn throughout the fair.
Gates will open at 5 p.m. on weeknights and 2 p.m. on weekends. Admission is $6 for individuals (12 and older) and free for children (ages 1-11). Seniors (55 and older) will get in free 10 a.m.- 1p.m. Sept. 18. Armbands for all rides are $22 on Thursday, Sept. 12, Sunday, Sept. 15 through Thursday, Sept. 19 and Monday, Sept. 23. Armbands will be $25 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday, Sept. 22. Parking is free.
The fair is a major fundraiser for the Cullman Lions Club, and the proceeds allow the organization to assist in year-round funding of community projects, Bonner said. The annual event also brings in visitors and their tourism dollars spent at area merchants.
The fair’s schedule:
Thursday -6 p.m, Tiny Fair Princess and Petite Fair Princess pageants
Friday, Sept. 13- 7 p.m., Jeff Whitlow performs
Saturday, Sept. 14- 5 p.m., Beef Cattle Show and Herdsman Award at Tri-Green Arena; 7 p.m., WKUL 92.1 FM Cullman Talent Search at Coca Cola Theatre
Sunday, Sept. 15- 7 p.m., Cullman County Fair Talent Show at Coca Cola Theatre.
Monday, Sept. 16- 6 p.m. Junior sheep and goat shows at Tri-Green Agricultural Building; 7 p.m., Little, Junior and Teen pageants
Tuesday, Sept. 17- 5:30 p.m., 4-H, FFCLA and FFA Livestock Judging at Tri-Green Agricultural Building; 6 p.m., Feeder Steer Show at Tri-Green Agricultural Building; 7:30 p.m., Miss Cullman County Fair pageant at Coca-Cola Theatre.
Wednesday, Sept. 18- 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Senior Citizens Day; 6:30 p.m., Junior Horse Show at Tri-Green Agricultural Building
Thursday, Sept. 19- 5:30 p.m., Junior Heifer Showmanship; 6:30 p.m., Junior Heifer Show
Friday, Sept. 20- 7 p.m., Jeff Whitlow opens for Gene Watson.
Saturday, Sept. 21- 6 p.m., 4-H dog show at Tri-Green Agricultural Building; 7 p.m., Texaco Country Showdown State Talent Final, sponsored by 102.5 FM The Bull, at Coca Cola Theatre
Monday, Sept. 23- 12- 6 p.m., Student Day sponsored by People’s Bank of Alabama. All school children will be admitted at no charge.
To buy tickets or for other information about the Cullman County Fair, go online to www.cullmanfair.com.
Tiffeny Owens can be reached email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.