By Tim Gardner
The ever-popular Avery County Agricultural and Horticultural Fair is only one week away and preparations are on schedule for its opening on September 4, according to its Executive Director B.J. Beuttell.
“All of us involved with the Avery County Fair are working feverishly to get everything ready for opening night and the three days it follows and we’re where we should be in terms of organization and having everything ready with nothing left to chance,” remarked Beuttell.
The Avery A&H Fair will run Wednesday (September 4); Thursday (September 5), Friday (September 6) and Saturday (September 7). It will mark the second consecutive year that it will be 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, approximately one-half mile behind the Ingles Markets Grocery Store.
Various rides, exhibits, demonstrations, and competitions ensure there’s plenty to see and do at the Avery A&H Fair. There will be various food and drink vendors set up throughout the fairgrounds to satisfy the appetites and thirsts of those attending.
Gates will open by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday (September 4); 3:00 p.m. on Thursday (September 5); 5:00 p.m. on Friday (September 6); and 11:00 a.m. on Saturday (September 7). Admission at the gate is free all days of the Avery A&H Fair. Ride bracelets are $20 for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; and $15 on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and $20 from 6:00 p.m. to closing at 11:00 p.m.
Amusement Rides open at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday, rides will start at 1:00 p.m. and continuing until closing at 11:00 p.m.
A “Carload Special Night” will be held on Thursday, September 5. Up to 8 people in a car receive a wrist band included (Example: 5 people in car wrist bracelet is $10.00).
Included in the 2019 Avery A&H Fair’s activities is a long list of livestock shows: a goat show, a chicken show, a rabbit show, diary and meat goat shows, dairy steer project show and beef and dairy heifer shows. And many who attend enter their livestock, produce, crafts, quilts, woodworking, cakes, pies and more for the chance to win prizes.
Beuttell added that a huge crowd is expected for the Avery A& H Fair considering the feedback its organizers have received. “The responses have been really good and at a high volume,” she noted. It’s been well-liked ever since we first started having it, but this year ranks right up there with the best all-time interest. We sure hope to have a tremendously large crowd as it will truly offer fun, pleasure, and excitement for everyone who attends.”
This year’s schedule of events includes:
Wednesday, September 4 (5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.)
Livestock Tent -Chicken Show, 5:00 p.m.; Rabbit Show, 5:30 p.m.;
4-H Chick to Chicken Show, 6:00 p.m.; 4-H High Country Show Rabbit Program, 6:30 p.m., Cow Patty Bingo, 7:00 p.m.; Entertainment-
Avery County Cloggers, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 5 (5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.)
Livestock Tent-5:00 Dairy Goat Show, 5:00 p.m.; Meat Goat Show, 5:30 p.m.; High Country Show Goat Program, 6:00 p.m.; Cow Patty Bingo, 7:00 p.m.Entertainment-Avery County Cloggers and Fully Persuaded Band will perform at 7:00 p.m. or shortly after
Friday, September 6 (5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.)
Livestock Tent- Horse Halter Show, 6:00 p.m.; Cow Patty Bingo, 7:00 p.m.; Entertainment -Avery County Cloggers and Band Wagon Fallacy Band 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 7 (11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.)
Beauty Pageant ,12:00 Noon; Countrified Obstacle Course for adults at 4:00 p.m., with a $300 prize for both men’s and women’s divisions; Little Britches Obstacle Course for ages 15 and under at 5:00 p.m.; Entertainment-Avery County Cloggers and Dave Calvert and his Collective Band and other singers and bands singing and playing music throughout the day and evening; Livestock Tent-Dairy Heifer Show, 5:00 p.m.; Dairy Steer Show, 5:30 p.m.; Beef Heifer Show, 6:00 p.m.; Beef Steer Show, 6:30 p.m.; and Cow Patty Bingo 50/50, 7:00 p.m.
Winner ribbons will be presented for the best canned goods, produce, flowers, arts, and crafts. Visitors can pick up the farm and home entry forms to enter the contests and to obtain a booth to set up at the Fair at the Avery County Cooperative Extension Center.
Entries will be received at the Extension Service Office on the following dates and times:
Saturday, August 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 1 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Monday, September 2 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 3 from 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.
(Flowers and floral arrangements will also be taken on this day)
Wednesday, September 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (Baked Goods Only)
“We will have a lot of different exhibits and many people like to come and see what so and so raised, how big they were, how much they weighed and so on,” Beuttell said. “The competition is open to anybody. People can bring their stuff out and participate. We have canned foods, cut flowers, baked goods, vegetables and fruits in various categories, woodworking, paintings, crocheting, knitting and sewing and almost anything else you can name.”
Those attending the Avery A& H Fair can also take the stage to provide “open mic” entertainment throughout the five days of festivities.
A raffle also will be held with a 2019 Coleman Lantern LT Camper worth $26,000 awarded to the grand winner. 350 tickets will be available at $100 each. The raffle drawing will take place around 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 (through the Avery Agriculture Extension Office or the Storehouse in Newland) until the last day of the Avery A&H Fair.
Thanks to the cooperation of Avery County’s Government, the local North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and the community members who volunteer to operate it, the Avery County A&H Fair has been a mainstay among the North Carolina High Country’s most popular celebrations and festivities since it was founded in 1992. It is a family-oriented event known for the preservation of the mountain heritage that has long been a way of life for people Avery County and throughout the entire High Country. Focused on the education and enjoyment of our children, the Avery A&H Fair also reminds us all of how agriculture and horticulture have played a major part in our communities throughout generations.
Proceeds from the Avery A&H Fair provide funding for the Lindsay Beuttell and Avery A&H Fair Scholarships given to local students as well as to cover the operating costs for the annual event.
For more general information about the Avery A&H Fair, call (828)387-6870 or the Avery Cooperative Extension office at 828-733-8270. Details about the beauty pageant, how to enter, the various age categories, competitions, etc. can be obtained by contacting Diane McKinney by phone (423-707-4153) or via email ([email protected]).
Avery A&H Fair officials will also be posting daily updates starting Wednesday, September 4 on the Fair’s Facebook page (facebook.com/AveryAHFair).
Photos from last year’s Avery County Fair