More fair weather ahead for Rowan County Fair?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette

On a damp Tuesday night, the stuffed animals outnumbered the visitors to the Rowan County Fair.

But along with the drizzle have come cool temperatures and a promise of fair weather through Saturday.

To help celebrate the arrival of fair weather and boost attendance, the Rowan County Fair Association will offer a special deal on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Anyone bringing four cans of food to donate to Rowan Helping Ministries will be admitted for $3 ó less than half the regular admission.

Fair-goers Tuesday evening had quick access to all the rides, games and food booths.

Licking his fingers to get all the sauce from a basket of ribs, Fair Manager Johnny Love touted the improvements and the attractions.

“The dairy show Wednesday night (tonight) may be the biggest anywhere in the state,” said Love.

In the main exhibit hall, some fair-goers witnessed a rare event. For several minutes Dean Beck was completely speechless.

Beck, a former deputy sheriff and retired Landis policeman, landed the biggest sausage dog all covered in a mound of grilled onions.

He waved and nodded but didn’t stop munching.

Across the midway, cotton candy drew screams of delight from Gracie and Eli, the children of Herschel Doster and Kim Honeycutt of Salisbury.

They grabbed big chunks from the bag and screamed with delight.

With candy in hand, they were ready† to try another ride.

While the rides and shows were the center of attention for many, the beef show was the really big event for others.

Families watched intently as beef breeds and their handlers paraded through the ring.

Caroline Stirewalt, a student at Carson High School, waited to show a bull for the school’s Future Farmers of America. She took a couple of ribbons in the sheep competition on Tuesday.

The Stumptown Antique Power Tractor Club put a decided farm stamp on the fair with an assortment of antique tractors placed in and around the exhibit hall.

Jimmie Karriker, retired from Cannon Mills Plant 1, manned the booth and talked tractors. A Corriher Grange Road resident, he joined the Stumptown Club and is having a great time helping restore old tractors and spreading the word.

“The little kids really love the old tractors,” Karriker said.

The prize tractor on display is a 1949 G Allis Chalmers ó a fully restored rear-engine tractor designed for gardening and cultivating.

The club is selling tickets and will have a drawing for the tractor on Oct.

19 at the conclusion of the Killian Farm Antique Tractor and Engine Show in Denver.

While selling tickets, Karriker is also plowing fertile ground, looking to recruit new members to the club. For more information on the club, call 704-857-4124.

The tractor exhibits will be at the fair throughout the week.

The 57th Rowan County Agricultural Fair will continue through Saturday. The gates open at 4 p.m. daily with rides starting at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the gates open at noon with rides starting at 1 p.m.

Demolition derbies are scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights.