The rides are set up; vendors’ booths are ready; culinary, creative arts and agriculture displays are getting the finishing touches; and the fairgrounds is receiving one more cleaning. On Friday at 5:30 p.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony will officially open the 17th Williamson County Fair at the Williamson County AgExpo Park for nine days of family fun and entertainment.
Be sure to check the fair’s website for admission specials. Online midway specials will end at midnight Friday.
Although areas of the fair have a different look, the feel of a community coming together to have fun in a safe environment, experience local agriculture and enjoy the thrills of the midway remains. It takes more than 2,000 volunteers — some working year-round, others working long hours during the nine-day event — to ensure everyone leaves with plenty of great memories and a smile.
Several favorite shows and experiences are returning. The XPOGO Stunt Team, Piccolo Zoppe Circus, Jurassic Kingdom and chainsaw artist Roark Phillips are part of the returning lineup.
Beef, dairy, goat, sheep, lamb and poultry livestock competitions will keep the barns full.
Those wanting to stock up on locally raised meat can check out the annual Junior Market goat, lamb and steer sales on Monday in the barn area at 6:30 p.m. For more information about the sale, contact Extension Agent Doug Berny at 615-790-5721.
New this year
Hand stamps for online advance sale admission and online midway ride specials are a new addition. The midway will feature two new rides — the Eagle 16 Ferris Wheel and the Fighter thrill ride.
Also new is the Flippenout Extreme Trampoline Show, which spotlights athletes performing daring, high-altitude twists, flips and maneuvers on a snowboard and skis and other acrobatic stunts at heights of 25 feet above the trampoline.
Glassblower Ryan Gothrup will bring his mobile studio along to demonstrate the science, math and history of the lost art of glassblowing. He’ll also have items he makes for sale during the fair.
Fair at the Farm will be held in the Children’s Barnyard. Due to safety issues regarding the coronavirus, Little 1s Farming won’t be available this year, but Jason Ladd of Lucky Ladd Farm and Matt Horseman, extension service and 4-H director, have come up with a new, fun agricultural experience for children and families. There will be a “live” unicorn visiting from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on Friday, Aug. 13, from 6-9 p.m. Kids will also have a chance to paint a pony, and on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., they can get a chance to ride on a real tractor.
Saturday, Aug. 14, will be Patriots Day. The community is invited to recognize local military veterans during a Hometown Heroes ceremony at 10 a.m. on the Nissan Stage. That evening, Tim Watson, the “Fiddle Man,” will perform on the Nissan Stage at 9 p.m. and close the fair.
Watson is a singer, fiddle player and comedian. He and his band, Black Creek, were a popular act at the Opryland Theme Park (now Opry Mills) and the Grand Old Opry, and they performed for over 20 years on the General Jackson showboat.
“His show is unbelievable,” said Tommy Jackson, chairman of entertainment for the Nissan Stage.
Outside events are always at the mercy of the weather. This year, public safety officials are using text messages to get out emergency information to fairgoers, vendors and volunteers. Look for the code to opt in to receive the text messages at the entrance to the fair.
For law enforcement safety, the Williamson County Fair has implemented a “clear bag” policy. No backpacks, large totes and purses are allowed on the fairgrounds. Wristlets, clutches, cross-body purses and non-transparent bags can be no larger than 4.5-by-6.5 inches and will be searched. Diaper bags will be allowed when accompanied by an infant, but will be searched. There is no size limit for the clear bags. Volunteers in the parking lots will remind visitors about the policy.