Entertainment-packed Rowan County fair starts today
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY – The 61st Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair will begin working its magic this afternoon.
This week, the fair will be open each weekday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from noon to midnight, when the fair ends. The fairgrounds are located between I-85 and Old Concord Road on Julian Road, three miles south of Salisbury.
Exhibit buildings will open at 4 p.m. and close at 10 p.m. each day. The rides and food vendors will start up at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.
“There’s a whole lot going on,” Fair Manager Johnny Love said. “It’s the most entertainment we’ve ever had.”
That includes a comedy magic show by Amazing Rex and Dana, who will perform twice each day of the fair. Magician Buddy Farnan will be walking around the fairgrounds demonstrating magic tricks.
Michael Decker will make balloon creations daily on the stage.
Western North Carolina Mountain Trout Fishing will have a catch-and-release booth. Fairgoers will actually catch catfish, Love said, because trout wouldn’t survive as well in hot weather.
This year also brings the return of pig racing, which has been absent from the fair for the past few years. Circle C will hold two races each weeknight and three races on Saturday, Love said.
Circle C also will run the fair’s petting zoo, which opens at 4 p.m. each day.
“The petting farm has a lot of what they call heritage breeds – miniature camels and miniature bison – and sheep, goats and cows,” Love said.
Twice each evening, R&S Wood Carving will demonstrate chainsaw art, and the Health Systems Cooking Show will take place.
Exact showtimes were not available Friday, Love said, but they will be posted at the fairgrounds, on the fair website and at the Rowan County Fair Facebook page.
Musical acts will take the stage around 7 p.m. on the first four days of the fair, Love said. Bluegrass band Strings of Glory will play today and Wednesday. Southern Justice will play country, rock, blues and beach music on Tuesday and Thursday.
Figure 8 racing will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m., and the Demolition Derby will follow on Friday at 8 p.m.
“We hope everyone comes out and enjoys the fair this year,” Love said. “It is inexpensive family entertainment and it should appeal to everyone.”
Exhibits will be judged Monday and displayed for the length of the fair. As always, a junior dog show, several livestock shows and animal dress-up contests will be held throughout the fair.
General admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-11 and free for children 5 and under. A wristband for unlimited rides will be available for $20. All proceeds from parking, which costs $1 per vehicle, will go to the nonprofit organizations whose volunteers help park cars.
On the first day of the fair, adults can bring four cans of food for Rowan Helping Ministries to receive free admission.
Tuesday and Wednesday are “school days,” when students with a special ticket can get in with either $1 or two cans of food. School staff are admitted with a special staff ticket and either $4 or four cans of food.
Wednesday and Friday are kindergarten and Head Start days, when those students get free admission to exhibits and barns.
For more information and a full schedule, visit www.rowancountyfair.org or call 704-633-5632.
Adult admission is free today with four cans of food for Rowan Helping
Ministries. A wristband for unlimited rides is $20.
Gates open: 4 p.m.
Circle C Petting Farm: 4 p.m.
Rides and food: 5 p.m.
Jr. Ewe Show: 6:15 p.m.
Jr. Market Goat Show: 7 p.m.
Circle C Pig Racing: two shows between 6 and 10 p.m.
Amazing Rex & Dana: two shows between 6 and 10 p.m.
R&S Wood Carving: two shows between 6 and 10 p.m.
Health Systems Cooking Show: two shows between 6 and 10 p.m.