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Avery County Agriculture and Horticulture Fair Was Another Success With 6,131 Attending

Back row: Meliah Brooks (Junior Miss A&H Fair) and Sierra Smith (Miss A&H Fair). Front row: Gabriella Turbyfill (Wee Miss A&H Fair), December Brooks (Tiny Miss A&H Fair), James Arnette IV (Mister A&H Fair) and Serena Rose Phillips (Little Miss A&H Fair)

By Tim Gardner

The 2021 Avery County Agriculture and Horticulture Fair was one of the best in its 28-year history, according to two of its primary leaders-Jerry Moody, Avery County Extension Service Director and B.J. Beuttell, the County Fair Director.

“I believe all who attended and everyone who helped organize, worked with, or was involved with the Avery County A&H Fair in any other capacity is happy about how it turned out this year,” Moody said.  “It truly was awesome.  Everything went smoothly throughout the Fair and our attendance was excellent. We had 6,131 attending in its four days. That’s an average of about 1,533 per day. And I believe this year was only the third time ever that we didn’t have any rain or snow any day of the Fair, which was a blessing.

“I did not hear a single complaint from anyone who attended the Fair and many have said it was bigger and better than ever. That’s the best compliments the Avery A&H Fair could receive.”

The Avery A&H Fair ran four days, September 8th-11th.  It was the third Fair hosted at the Heritage Park property since the completion of the county’s new agriculture building on the site. Heritage Park is located at 661 Vale Road in Newland.

Various rides, exhibits, demonstrations and competitions ensured that there were plenty for all who attended to see and do at the Fair. 

From the thrilling rides and various games for kids to the alluring displays in the livestock and farm and home tents, the Fair was fun for people of all ages and interests.  Whether a person is an enthusiast of agriculture, arts and crafts, animal husbandry or traditional ways of mountain living, the Fair offered the county’s best in all categories, along with a few special events.

Included in the 2021 Avery A&H Fair’s activities was a long list of livestock shows: a goat show, a chicken show, a dairy steer project show and a beef heifer show. And many who attended entered their livestock, produce, crafts, quilts, woodworking, cakes, pies and more for the chance to win prizes.

The following list of all those shows winners was provided by Michelle Cuthbertson South, Areas North Carolina Extension Agent (including Avery County) for Agriculture and Livestock:  

Overall Livestock Tent BEST OF SHOW (Poultry): 

      Blue and White Crested Polish Hen

      Owned by Rylie Daniels 

Overall Livestock Tent BEST OF SHOW (Large Animal):       

      “Walker”: Shetland Pony

       Owned by Avery Arnold


Open Chicken Show: 

Grand Champion: Chloe Oaks 

Reserve Champion: Annslee Arnold 

3rd: Dawson Beam 

High Country 4-H Chick to Chicken Project Showmanship (Ages 9 and up): 

Grand Champion: Sam Gantt

Reserve Champion: Justin Brantley 

3rd: Abby King 

High Country 4-H Chick to Chicken Project Showmanship (Ages 8 and under)

Participation Only: 

Lane Chandler, Brooklyn King, Ryan Boston, Maxen Ballard, Natalia Yoder, Alexei Yoder, Sawyer Watts

High Country 4-H Small Animal Project Showmanship (Rabbit): 

Grand Champion: Sam Gantt

Reserve Champion: Lillian Wayson 

3rd: JJ Wise 

High Country 4-H Small Animal Project Showmanship (Guinea Pig): 

Grand Champion: Levi Bowman 

Reserve Champion: Bentley Bowman 

3rd: Hannah Bowman

Horse Leadline (Ages 6 and under) 

Participation Only: 

Timber South, Connie Oaks, Jeb Ingram

Horse Handling: 

Grand Champion: Kella Clark 

Reserve Champion: Avery Arnold 

1st: Annslee Arnold 

2nd: Cassidy Bailey

3rd: Abbie Burleson

Dairy Goat Showmanship: 

Grand Champion: Avery Arnold 

Reserve Champion: Connie Oaks 

Meat Goat Showmanship: 

Grand Champion: Daisy Brantley 

Reserve Champion: Justin Brantley 

Dairy Heifer Showmanship: 

Grand Champion: Annslee Arnold 

Reserve Champion: Charlotte Nidifer 

Beef Heifer Showmanship: 

Grand Champion: Sawyer Dean 

Reserve Champion: Avery Arnold

Also, the Avery A&H Fair featured a beauty pageant.  A list of winners (Divisions with six Queens and one King) crowned was provided by Pageant Director Diane McKinney and included:

Wee Miss Avery A&H Fair Age-Birth-2-Gabriella Turbyfill

Tiny Miss Avery A&H Fair-Age 3-5-December Brooks

Little Miss Avery A&H Fair-Age-6-10-Serena Rose Phillips

Junior Miss Avery A&H Fair-Age-11-15-Meliah Brooks

Miss Avery A&H Fair-Age 16-Adult-Sierra Smith

Mister Avery A&H Fair-Age-Birth-12-James Arnette

Beuttell offered the following comments about the 2021 Fair: “Our opening day of the Fair was great and we kept up the consistency of excellence the other three days.  I think the Fair was solid in all aspects and it was so good to bounce back with such a wonderful outing after we didn’t have a Fair in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  And we look for an even better Avery A&H Fair in 2022.”

The tentative dates for next year Avery County A&H Fair are September 7th through September 10th.

The Avery County Agriculture and Horticulture Fair operates with the help of the local North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Its proceeds go to provide funding for scholarships for local students as well as to cover the operating costs for the annual event.

2021 scholarship recipients were: Avery County A&H Fair Scholarship-Molly Shell and Lindsay Beuttell Scholarship-Penelope Brocco.

“We mainly put on the Avery County A&H Fair so we can raise money to offer scholarships to kids and we’ve been doing so since our first one in 1993,” Moody declared.  “And it’s an opportunity to show off Avery County’s rich cultural and agricultural history and educate people about that. I think it’s one of the true milestone happenings in our county’s and region’s history.”