By Tim Gardner
The Avery County Agricultural and Horticultural Fair opens tonight and will also be held on Thursday (September 5), Friday (September 6) and Saturday (September 7). It will be hosted out of the Heritage Park property 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 is even a beauty pageant on Saturday. 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.
One of this year’s features is a “Carload Special Night” of $50 per car will be held on Thursday. A limit of 8 persons in a vehicle receive a ride bracelet included the carload price. This is a huge savings off the regular ride bracelet prices. For example, if you have 4 persons in vehicle, the ride bracelets are $12.50 each; 5 persons are $10.00 each; 6 persons are $8.33 each; and 8 persons are $6.25 each. All persons must be in the same vehicle.
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, art, crafts, quilts, woodworking, flowers, canned goods, cakes, pies and more for the chance to win prizes. Those attending the Avery A& H Fair can also take the stage to provide “open mic” entertainment throughout the four 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 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).
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.
More photos from last year’s Avery County Fair: