Jimmy Drew has provided safe, exciting rides and entertainment for the Williamson County Fair for the past 15 years.
According to Drew, he got involved with the fair merely by accident when the president of the Dalton, Georgia fair and Williamson County resident Roy Fox of the Gospel-singing Fox Brothers met at a convention in Las Vegas.
The Dalton fair had been using Drew Expositions for many years. The duo decided Drew Expositions needed to contact Williamson County Fair Board Chairman, Dave Crouch.
When Drew walked into Crouch’s office, he said, “I’m your guy for the fair.” Not long after, the Williamson County Fair and Drew Expositions forged a partnership that continues to provide safe, clean and exciting rides and entertaining acts.
“We specialize in having the heavy equipment to set up our big rides, like the Pirate Ship — the only one that gets moved from place to place,” Drew said. The 74-year-old grew up in the business. His parents began Drew Expositions in the late 1930s.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff nobody else has,” Drew added.
That includes a trash clean-up crew to keep the midway area clean — something that is important to Drew and the fair board — and stainless steel trash cans that are regularly emptied.
“We love this area, and we know and have confidence we can make this fair the best fair in Tennessee,” Drew said. “The Appalachian Fair (in Gray, Tennessee) and Williamson County Fair have some of the best people — the most wonderful people I ever met. We try to live our lives in areas where good people are.”
He and his wife, Evangeline, always arrive in the area early for the fair setup and to enjoy time with the many friends they’ve made. They like to return to the area during the year just to cultivate those new friendships.
Besides clean rides, Drew has provided acts such as the Cannonball Man and a high-aerial act.
“Most all the acts we brought here at some point in their career were with Ringling’s circus,” he said.
This year, Drew brought a surprise ride. A triple Ferris wheel will run in place of the famous and popular Seattle Wheel, which was a part of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle and has been a part of the fair since 2005.
Get to the midway early. There are bound to be long lines for this one.