The Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair is expected to draw its largest crowd of the week tonight, with visitors coming from across the region to enjoy the last day until next year.
Ride specials include $1 rides in the Kiddie Land area from 1-3 p.m., and anyone who likes to ride the thrill rides will be able to purchase a wrist stamp, good all day for unlimited rides, for $20.
The fair opens at 1 p.m. today and closes at midnight.
The night will be packed with live entertainment – Rosaire’s Royal Racers will bring squeals of delight with the pig races, Lady Houdini will awe onlookers with daredevil escapes, and Bob Boehme’s Farmily Feud, Survivor and magic shows are sure to be crowd pleasers. Fair Chairman Ted Williams said the crowds have been near-record each night at the fair this week and the entertainment seems to please.
“We have had a lot of compliments on what (club member) Mike Bowen has done with the music entertainment,” he said.
Bowen helped revive the musical entertainment this year, adding a stage and increasing the number and variety of shows. Today, the School of Rock will perform at 4 p.m.; followed by Daniel Johnson at 6 p.m. and Parker Grove Church performing at 8 p.m.
Thursday, the Statesboro Kiwanis Club was treated to a meal during its weekly meeting - a feast of “fair food” prepared by the crew from Amusements of America, the midway that has partnered with the club for 37 years. After a meal of Italian sausage, peppers and onions’ barbecue, potato salad, New York style pizza and fried chicken, Kiwanis president Trish Tootle gave a report on the week’s fair so far.
“We have had a fabulous week,” she said. “The weather has been great and attendance had been wonderful.”
Fair Chairman Walter Pease welcomed and thanked the Amusements of America folks, including owner Dominic Vivona, recalling how the late club member Felton Mikell was key in forming the partnership with the company.
Vivona reminded the club that his family and employees consider Statesboro one of their most favorite cities to visit, complimenting the club on its kindness and consideration. The Statesboro Kiwanis Club, Pittman Park church and others offer free medical and dental services, as well as other gifts and services, to the carnival workers each year.
He said the fair takes in “10 times” what it did when the company first started providing the midway for the club.
Williams thanked many for their help with the fair, including the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office for nightly security and traffic control, as well as Miss Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Caitlyn Mills, who performed duties including awarding winners of the livestock shows.
He praised club members for hard work. “We Kiwanians work our butts off to serve this community and seven counties. It’s been an honor and privilege to be here this week.” He also expressed gratitude to those who attended the fair and make it such a success each year.
The fair draws visitors from cities all across south Georgia, and serves seven counties (Bulloch, Evans, Candler, Tattnall, Jenkins, Bryan and Screven) through participation of students and other participants in the agricultural, arts and floral arrangement contests.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.