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Avery County Fair Off to an Awesome Start; SEE Pictures From Wednesday Night Here

By Tim Gardner

The 2018 Avery County Fair is off to a buzzing start with indications that it may be one of the most successful in its 26-year history, according to Avery Extension Service Director Jerry Moody.

“I believe everyone who works with the fair is ecstatic about how it is running this year,” he said. “The first two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday) have been great, absolutely fantastic. Everything has gone off smoothly and our attendance has been perhaps double over last year’s. We’ve had more than 1,000 combined attend the first couple nights. Hopefully, exceptionally good attendance will be a trend that continues tonight (Thursday), Friday night and all day and evening on Saturday. If so, the fair could come close to, or exceed, its all-time attendance mark.

“And many of those who have attended in previous years have commented that this year’s fair seems to be bigger and better than ever with many more fun and interesting things happening at it. I urge everyone to come on out tonight, Friday and all day and evening on Saturday.”

As Moody noted, the fair will continue tonight (Thursday, August 30) through Saturday, September 1. It is the first fair hosted out of 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 ensure there’s plenty to see and do at the fair.

Gates will open by 5:00 p.m. and rides at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. On Saturday, gates will open at 9:00 a.m. and rides will start at 1:00 p.m. and continuing until closing at 11:00 p.m.

Admission is $5 per person per night (Tuesday through Friday) and on Saturday (free for children ages 5 and under). Ride bracelets are: $10 for all ages on Tuesday; $20 for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and $15 on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and $20 from 6:00 p.m. to closing.

From the thrilling rides and various games for kids to the alluring displays in the livestock and farm and home tents, the fair is 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 living, the fair offers the county’s best in all categories, along with a few special events throughout the event’s five days. And there will be various food and drink vendors set up throughout the fairgrounds to satisfy the appetites and thirsts of those attending.

Included in the 2018 fair’s activities is 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 attend enter their livestock, produce, crafts, quilts, woodworking, cakes, pies and more for the chance to win prizes.

The remainder of the fair’s schedule of events includes:

Thursday, August 30 (5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.)

Chicken Show by 4H Club at 6:00 p.m. and Cow Patty Bingo at 7:00 p.m. The Fully Persuaded Band will play during the evening.

Friday, August 31(5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.)

Dairy Steer Project Show at 6:00 p.m., featuring kids who have raised calves from 3 days old; Cow Patty Bingo at 7:00 p.m.; Singers and Bands singing and playing music throughout evening

Saturday, September 1(9:30 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Countrified Obstacle Course for adults at 1:00 p.m., with a $300 prize for both men’s and women’s divisions; Little Britches Obstacle Course for ages 15 and under at 2:00 p.m.; Beef Heifer Show at 6:00 p.m.; Cow Patty Bingo at 7:00 p.m.; and Dave Calvert and his Band and other singers and bands singing and playing music throughout the day and evening

Among the various competitions, the “Class” show is judged on the appearance and conformation of the animal, while the “Showmanship” show is judged on the appearance and way the showman (kid) handles and shows the animal. Winners from the first two nights (courtesy of Michelle South, Extension Area Agent, and Agriculture – Livestock) include:


TUESDAY, AUGUST 28th, 2018


  • Meat Doeling
    • 1st – Avery Arnold with Tinkerbell
    • 2nd – Annslee Arnold with Wendy


  • Dairy Doe
    • 1st – Lexy Dark with Patti
    • 2nd – Jessy-Kate Glenn with Odette


  • Multi Purpose Kid
    • 1st– Josh Silver with Scout
    • 2nd – Jesse Silver with Jym
    • 3rd – Emma Hubbard with Cherokee



  • Meat Doeling
    • 1st- Avery Arnold with Tinkerbell
    • 2nd – Annslee Arnold with Wendy


  • Dairy Doe
    • 1st – Lexy Dark with Patti
    • 2nd – Jessy-Kate Glenn with Odette


  • Multi Purpose Kid
    • 1st – Sypris Dark with Kiowa
    • 2nd – Josh Silver with Scout
    • 3rd – Jesse Silver with Jym


    • Sypris Dark – with Kiowa




  • Little Britches (4- 11)
    • 1st – Avery Arnold with Copper
    • 2nd – Annslee Arnold with Skipper
    • 3rd – Grayson Hoilman with Jack
    • 4th – Kora Cable with Buddy


  • Teen (12- 17)
    • 1st – Molly Shell with Copper
    • 2nd – Grayson Hoilman with Jack
    • 3rd – Jessy-Kate Glenn with Danny
    • 4th – Rylie Daniels with Dixie


  • Adult (18 +)
    • 1st – Rhonda Arnold with Copper
    • 2nd – Brittany Self with Twister
    • 3rd – Shannonrae Mathes with Danny



  • Little Britches (4-10)
    • Grand Champion – Kora Cable with Buddy
    • 1st – Avery Arnold with Copper
    • 2nd – Annslee Arnold with Jack


  • Teen (11-17)
    • Grand Campion – Jessy-Kate Glenn with Skipper
    • 1st – Rylie Daniels with Copper
    • 2nd – Molly Shell with Twister
    • 3rd – Grayson Hoilman with Jack


  • Adult (18+)
    • 1st – Shannonrae Mathes with Danny
    • 2nd – Brittany Self with Twister


Winners from the next three days of the fair also will be posted on hcpress.com.

Folks can also take the stage to provide “open mic” entertainment throughout the five days of festivities.

Also, on Saturday, the fair will host its inaugural Chili Cook-off, held in memory of James “Hardrock” Stamey, a long-time Avery Emergency Services worker and Avery H&A Fair patron. There is a $10 entry fee for this competition, and the cooks will be competing for prizes. 1st place receives gets $100, 2nd place gets $75 and 3rd place receives $50. Those entering the contest should bring their best chili recipe and their own crock pot and be ready to cook.

Moody said the funds from the Cook-off will be divided between scholarships given in Stamey’s name and by the Fair.

A raffle also will be held with several prizes awarded to the grand winner. 250 tickets will be available at $50 each. The raffle drawing will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. The winner will be determined in a reverse drawing in which the last ticket drawn is the winner. Raffle ticket purchasers do not have to be present to win. Raffle tickets are available for purchase now (at the fair, through the Avery Agriculture Extension Office or the Storehouse in Newland) until the last day of the fair on Saturday. The winner will receive a 5.5 foot by 10-foot tag-along trailer, a Stihl chainsaw with a two-year warranty, a backpack blower with a two-year warranty, a Coleman cooler, a flattop grill, a pop-up tent and a homemade corn-hole game.

The Avery County H&A Fair has been running with the help of the local N.C. Cooperative Extension for the past 26 years. Its proceeds go to provide funding for scholarships for local students as well as to cover the operating costs for the annual event.

“We mainly put on the fair so we can raise money to offer scholarships to kids and we’ve been doing so since the fair first opened in 1993,” Moody added. “And it’s an opportunity to show off Avery County’s rich cultural and agricultural history. I think it’s one of the best annual happenings in our county and area.”

For more details about the fair, call the Avery Cooperative Extension office at (828) 733-8270.

Avery A&H Fair officials will also be posting daily updates starting Tuesday, August 28 on the fair’s Facebook page (facebook.com/AveryAHFair).


Pictures from Wednesday night at the Avery County Fair: