Although rain threatened and a few sprinkles were actually spilled from the dark clouds passing overhead on Friday, it didn't stop the opening ceremony of nine days of family fun, known as the Williamson County Fair, at the Williamson County AgExpo Park. 

The traditional ribbon cutting, complete with speeches, went on as planned. Sponsors, members of the Fair Board and Chamber of Commerce, 2018 pageant winners and political officials, including Rep. Mark Green, Rep. Brandon Ogles, Brentwood Mayor Ray Little, county commissioners and members of the Franklin Board of Mayor and Alderman, were on hand. County Mayor and Fair Board Chairman Rogers Anderson and the 2018 Little Mister Williamson County cut the ribbon to officially begin the 2019 Williamson County Fair.

Green thanked the Fair Board, Fair sponsors and the 2,200 volunteers for their work in organizing and hosting the 15th Williamson County Fair.

“You are making memories for future generations,” he said.

Little said the number of volunteers didn't surprise him.

“After all, this is the Volunteer State,” he said.

Franklin aldermen agreed and also thanked all who worked to make the Fair happen 15 years ago and every year since then.

“Without all the sponsors, we would never be able to put this on and keep the prices low,” Anderson said. “About 17 years ago, a group of people got together to discuss ways to promote agri-tourism. The result was the revival of the county fair.”

Anderson added special thanks to Judy Hayes and Gloria O'Steen, who were among the group who started the Fair and have supported it ever since.

“This year, we expect 225,000 people to visit us,” Anderson said.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, several of the dignitaries were challenged to a watermelon seed spitting contest. The winner was Tim Cullen from Cigna, one of the major sponsors, whose seed went 32½ feet. Green gave it a gallant effort, but his seed went out of bounds, Anderson said. 

The Williamson County Fair will run through Saturday, Aug. 10. The hours are Monday through Thursday starting at 6 p.m., with the arena closing each night at 10 p.m. and the Midway closing at 11 p.m. Friday's hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with the Midway closing at Midnight. Saturday doors open at 10 a.m., and the Arena closes at 10 p.m. while the Midway at midnight. On Sunday, doors open at noon, and the Arena closes at 10 a.m. with the Midway open until 11 p.m.

Tickets are $9 for adults, $6 for children age 6 and older. Age 5 and young are free. Tickets may be purchased online and at the gate. 

Check online at www.williamsoncountyfair.org for daily admission specials and discount specials for rides. The daily entertainment schedule is also online.

Carole Robinson may be contacted at crobinson@williamsonherald.com

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