Time for the fair

Ellenboro Colfax Free Fair begins Tuesday.
Sep. 14, 2013 @ 04:39 AM

It's fair season and the Colfax Free Fair is right around the corner.

The fair, which is a fundraiser for Ellenboro Elementary School, begins Tuesday, Sept. 17 and runs through Saturday, Sept. 21. at the old Ellenboro School fairground. This year's theme is "Honoring Community Pioneers."

"There are a lot of businesses, people and churches that have been pioneers in the community for over 50 years. We thought it was good to honor those founders," said Frances Bailey, former teacher and member of the Ellenboro fair committee.

The fair, which is a tradition for many in the community, will include rides, food vendors, a tractor show, a car show and music.

"I love the fellowship of seeing friends and family members. I also know of one young lady that is planning to do her engagement pictures at the fair," Bill Bass, principal of Ellenboro Elementary said. "Many of the people in the community have been coming to the fair since they were infants."

According to Bailey, the first fair was organized by A.B. Bushong, an agriculture teacher, in 1928. Along with the rides and food, Bushong added the exhibit hall to give farmers a chance to show off their variety of products. That tradition still holds on today, and the exhibit hall brings in a crowd every year.

"Having the exhibit hall is what makes this a fair. It separates us from just being a carnival and gives us that fair element," Bass said.

The exhibit hall will be held in the gym and will include canned goods, field crops, potted plants, flowers, needlework, baked goods and artwork from Ellenboro Elementary Students. Awards and ribbons will be presented to first, second and third place exhibits.

Ellenboro Elementary will also have its own concession stand.

"My favorite part of the fair is knowing our staff is coming together to work hard to support the school," Bass said. "They work in the concession stand and it's a major undertaking. But it helps bring the staff closer together and we are raising money for a great cause. That's what drives me because we are raising money for the school."

Smokey Mountain Rides is providing the rides and parking and admission is free.

The fair begins each night at 6 p.m. Armband day will be Saturday, Sept. 21 from 1-5 p.m. An armband is $15 and guarantees unlimited rides during those hours.

The classic car and truck show is also Saturday from 2-6 p.m.

"I truly believe the fair is still alive and strong today because of the community who support it year after year," Bass said.

The old Ellenboro School fairground is located at 171 Cherry Mountain St. in Ellenboro. For more information about competitive exhibits call 828-453-8336 or 828-453-7768.