Monday, one of the area's most fun and exciting events opens as Amusements of American joins the Statesboro Kiwanis Club in bringing the 49th Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair to town.
The fair is much more than just the midway, but the midway is the star of the show.
From bumper cars to the Bonzai - it'll make you scream - there is something for the faint of heart to the most daring thrill-seeker.
Mild rides such as the carousel, ginormous slides and the Giant Ferris Wheel are fun, but the screams and laughter come from the Rock-n-Roll music ride, the Extreme, the Wave Slinger and the Crazy Mouse roller coaster. But that's not all - there are other rides, too.
The Kiddie Land section will please the young ones. A new Hamster Ball water ride will be sure to delight them - they get inside a huge plastic ball that rolls around a water course.
For all the would-be cowboys and cowgirls, the mechanical bull will return. Ladies, be warned - if you have anything that will jiggle, the man controlling the beast will make it shake like Jello. But if you can last eight seconds, you might win some cash.
There are photo opportunities, benches, games of chance and food throughout the midway - funnel cakes, Italian sausages, pizza by the slice, candy apples and cotton candy - all the traditional fair fare.
But if you only go for the midway, you'll be missing out on a very important part of the fair. Take some time out to explore the rest of the fairgrounds.
Food - the Kiwanis Club has mouthwatering pancakes and sausage. There is home-cooked barbecue. Local vendors including Pittman Park United Methodist Church and Bulloch County 4-H have booths offering hamburgers, hot dogs, fried Twinkies, fries, baked goods and other delights. And browsing through the Heritage Village, you might find chicken and dumplings, fresh pork rinds, fish dinners and lots more.
Speaking of Heritage Village - check out the old country store, the beekeeping house, the old farm equipment and grist mill. A tour of the Aldrich House might prove pretty interesting, if you'd like to see how a local family lived back in the day. A special exhibit on chickens will be held at the old farm barn, and there will be pig races and the Fearless Flores Thrill Show as well.
Arts and crafts - checking out the art displays, the 4-H and FFA mini booths, the crafts and agricultural exhibits, as well as the commercial booths inside the building at the entrance might just be interesting. And if you like animals, check out the various livestock shows they have all week long.
Oh, did we mention the parade? It kicks the fair off on Monday, Oct. 18, at 5 p.m. through downtown Statesboro.
Admission to the fairgrounds, which open Monday at 6 p.m., is a can, box or bag of food for the Statesboro food bank. If you forget, it's a dollar. Admission on other days is $5, but students with a photo ID get in free Wednesday, Oct. 20.
Wrist stamps for unlimited rides are available Tuesday, Oct. 19, for $18 each, on sale at 4 p.m. when the fair opens. They also are available Thursday, Oct. 21, for the same price; Friday, for the "Moonlight Madness" deal for $15 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and all day Saturday for $20.
The fair is a safe, family-oriented place and no one dampens the fun. Bulloch County Sheriff's deputies and Kiwanis members will make sure nothing wonky goes on, but other than that, it's a week of pure fun for all.w