By Katie Benfield
If you haven’t had a chance yet to attend the Avery Agricultural and Horticultural Fair, don’t worry! The fair will continue to light up Newland until Saturday evening, so you still have a chance!
“This is our 24th year, and we’ve been going on since ’93,” Jerry Moody, Director at Avery County Cooperative Extension Service, said.
Through Friday, the Fair opens at 5 p.m. and closes around 10 p.m. On these days, the rides will open at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the fair opens around 10 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. that same evening. During the festivities on Saturday, rides will be open between 12-5 p.m. and between 6 p.m. and closing.
On Saturday, at 2 p.m., the renowned horse-pull will be taking place. So far, there are 12 horse teams entered into the competition, but Moody hopes that there will at least be 15 teams competing.
“It’s like a tractor pull, but with horses,” Moody said. “So, there will be a lot of draft horses and Clydesdales present.”
While these are all day-specific events, the Fair also has festivities that happen every day of the week, such as a kid’s corner where kids can go in, pretend to cut down their own Christmas trees and learn all about Christmas trees. Along with this, each day, little kids will have the chance to chase little pigs and little chickens – if you catch one, you win a prize!
There will be exhibits of canned goods, locally grown fruits and vegetables, flowers, wreaths, Christmas trees, ornamentals, baked goods and so much more for everyone in attendance.
While all of that is going on, there will also be a raffle – tickets cost $50 – for a variety of different items including, but not limited to, the following: a trailer, a Yeti cooler, locally made cornhole boards, four folding chairs and a pop up tent, a fire pit, a camping grill and so much more that people of all ages and all walks of life will enjoy. The raffle drawing will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9.
Present at the fair will be a pioneer kitchen and bedroom set up with furniture and utensils that they would’ve used back in the olden days, as well as historical machinery for people to look at and learn about.
This year, the Fair decided to do something different to keep up with a trend that is suddenly finding an upsurge throughout the High Country – painted rocks.
There are a bunch of small rocks throughout the public area, but that’s not all. There is one huge one — a 50 lb rock that is painted green and has an orange paw and an orange border on it — if you bring this one in, you get free admission for four people for a lifetime!
As long as you show up with one of the painted rocks – painted by the kids in the 4H program – then you will have free admittance for the day. Remember that each of thee rocks has the initials of the Fair, as well as a number specific to the rock painted on the back, so the volunteers at the Fair will know whether the rock is real or not.
Also, throughout the whole week, the Fair will be collecting non-perishable goods and bottled water in cooperation with the student government and other school organizations at Avery High School to send out to Houston for those affected by the flooding.
So, whether you’re in it for the games, the rides, the festivities, the food, the history and culture, the painted rocks or helping out victims in Houston, the Avery A&H Fair has something for everyone!
Tickets for the event are as follows:
- Gate Fee – $5 (ages 5 and under are free)
- Ride Tickets:
- Wed-Friday – $20
- Saturday (1-5 p.m.) – $15
- Saturday (6 p.m.-close) – $20
For more information, call the Avery County Cooperative Extension Service at 828-733-8270 or visit the Avery A&H Fair Facebook page.
Photo by Ken Ketchie:
The 2017 Avery A&H Fair is currently in occurrence with rides, animals, delicious fair foods, community and lovally made crafts and produce and fun for people of all ages!