Ellenboro Fair opens at 6 p.m. today
Walking through the fair's midway carrying a contraption of water spigots Katie Wilson was on a mission.
Wilson, fair manager for Smoky Mountain Amusements, was checking on the water supplies throughout the fairground as rides and booths were set up for today's opening of the annual Colfax Free Fair and Ellenboro School Carnival.
The fair begins at 6 p.m. and runs through Saturday night on the former Ellenboro school grounds.
Rides for children of all ages were being erected throughout the fair grounds and will be ready to run today.
Wilson said there are a couple new rides this year. She loves the Ellenboro Fair because "it's a free fair and that's a good thing. It is affordable."
Her favorite day at the fair is one where, "we're busy, no problems, no complaints and people are having a good time."
"I've heard people say folks save all year for this fair and maybe even take out loans. I don't know if that's true or not," she quipped.
On Saturday armbands for the midway rides will be available from 1 to 5 p.m.
Merrilyn Livingston, a 16-year-veteran of the company, said she is always excited to come back to Ellenboro.
When she joined the company she worked in the game booths making sure everyone had a good time. Today she works wherever she is needed.
Monday afternoon she was checking out the funnel cakes.
Smoky Amusements operates all of the rides and many of the food concession stands where everything from funnel cakes to candy apples and fried Oreos are up for sale.
Ellenboro school has its concession stand open every night serving an assortment of hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and fries. The school receives all the profits from its booth.
Others will sell roasted corn, barbecue, chicken and a host of other fair foods.
Bingo is every night and continues to be a popular booth.
In the exhibit hall, the old gymnasium, people were lining up to register homemade goods for judging this afternoon, hoping to receive the prize money.
Awards and ribbons — 1st place winner, $5; second place, $3 and third place $2 — will be awarded before the exhibit hall opens.
"Honoring Community Pioneers" is the theme of the exhibit fair as photographs of the town's pioneers are exhibited in large frames.
Jean Honeycutt showed up with a load of items for judging. She had canned goods, clothes, all types of sewing, baked goods, candies and other things.
She also made 1,040 oatmea/chocolate cookies to be sold at the Hopewell-Hollis Ruritan Club booth outside on the fairground.
Exhibits include horticulture items, field crops, potted plants, cut flowers and needlework.
Among those registered exhibits Monday were Frances Bailey, Suzanne Covington, Doug Tucker, Tika Tucker and Peggy Moore.
Old farm engines, tractor and farm machinery will be on display Tuesday-Saturday.
A classic car and truck show will be from 2 to 6 p.m. also Saturday.
Farm tractor trophies will be presented at 4 p.m. and the classic car trophies will be presented t 6 p.m.
There is live music Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.and 8 p.m.
Friday's entertainment will be the bluegrass band, "Wire Grass."
Saturday, "Mountain Oaks" bluegrass gospel will perform.