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MayFest kicks off second year tonight at fairgrounds

MayFest is kicking off a second year of festivities tonight at the Rowan County Fairgrounds, and organizers are confident the annual event will continue to offer safe fun for thousands of families.
In addition to a petting zoo and circus, there also will be wrestling.
This year, the five-day event’s gates will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. through Friday, and from 1 to 11 p.m. on the weekend.
Tickets to MayFest are $3 apiece, and children younger than 3 years old get in for free.
MayFest drew about 10,000 people last year, Fair Manager Johnny Love said.
“We have a different carnival this year, Inners Shows, which will have more rides,” Love said. “This year, we’ve added wrestling to the entertainment, which will be held every night at 8.”
MayFest organizers also have added $5 monster truck rides daily, providing the weather cooperates.
Two children’s magic shows will be held nightly through Friday, with three shows scheduled each night on the weekend.
“When we purchased this property, we promised Rowan County we would bring them good family entertainment,” Love said. “Everybody has been bottled up all winter, and people are looking for affordable fun.”
One of the biggest additions to MayFest this year is Rowan’s Got Talent — a competition aimed at pitting singers, dancers, jugglers, comedians and other talented individuals against one another for a $500 purse.
No bands are allowed.
“The winner will be named Friday night,” Love said. “I’m hoping people take advantage of the cheap gate, bring their families and come out to have a great time.”
A dozen contestants have signed up thus far.
Randall Barger, the fair’s events manager, said MayFest will feature about 17 rides this year for attendees.
There will be free admission to a massive craft show slated from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Barger said.
“We have Nojoe’s Circus and a petting zoo,” Barger said. “The fair is needing people to come out and support the Jaycees. We’re building a new event center, which hopefully will be started within a month or two.”
It takes a lot of work and community support to keep events like MayFest going and venues like the fairgrounds continuing to operate, Barger said.
“We want to bring things here for the people, but the people need to support us,” Barger said.
The admission fee is used for funding the entertainment, Barger said, and all of the vendors organizers bring in are local.
“We try to support our local vendors and get them exposure. We will have vendors set up inside the exhibit hall to promote their businesses,” Barger said. “It’s all about the community and supporting a fun and safe place for families.”
Armbands will be available for purchase each night.
For more information or to enroll in the talent competition, contact Barger at 704-640-2326.

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