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Parade sets off week of fair fun
W 101915 FAIR PARADE 01
Monica Smith, 12, far left, waves and munches on a candied apple during the 2015 Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Parade Monday.
 Happening today Senior Citizens Day – free admission to seniors.
Fair opens at 4 p.m., closes at 11:30 p.m.
Wrist stamp for $18 entitles bearer to unlimited rides.
        Market Hog and Gilt show at 6 p.m.
Coty James and Friends performs at 6 p.m.

There were some unusual sights Monday evening as the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Parade entertained throngs of people lined up along Statesboro’s downtown streets.

A dancing foot promoted a local podiatrist. Monster tractors dwarfed the floats around them. Jars of relishes, sauces and jellies sashayed along the parade route, and a helicopter hovered over the area, seemingly “following” a replica of the Air Evac helicopter perched on a float.

The parade introduces the annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair — six days of thrill rides, agricultural exhibits, live entertainment, food, livestock shows and family fun.

The Statesboro Kiwanis Club hosts the fair each fall, representing seven area counties (Bulloch, Bryan, Candler, Evans, Screven, Tattnall and Jenkins). The fair is the club’s main fundraiser, and proceeds are filtered back into the community throughout the year via donations.

The parade started at 5 p.m., and lasted about an hour and a half. Some sold candy apples and other treats, and many who walked along the parade route handed fliers, candy, plastics cups, flags and other novelties to those in the crowd.

The parade theme was “Farming Families: Taking Pride in our Heritage.”  Floats were decorated with cotton and corn stalks, hay bales and other agricultural products, and one float featured a big green tractor.

There were antique tractors, classic cars, and monster trucks. Bands kept the rhythm while groups of dancers pranced and preened.  The Grinch made an appearance, and the Hillbillies Quint Shrine Club drew lots of attention as it passed. As always, local horseback riders and their colorful mounts brought up the rear.

The fairgrounds on Highway 67 opened at 6 p.m., with reduced admission if visitors brought a canned good to donate to the Statesboro Food Bank. Regular admission to the fair is $5.

Throughout the week, there will be live entertainment nightly including music performances and side shows; livestock shows, and special promotions each night.

Today, the fairgrounds open at 4 p.m., with free admission for senior citizens. Wrist stamps for $18 enable bearers to unlimited rides. The market hog and gilt show will be held in the Livestock Barn at 6 p.m., and at the same time, Coty James and Friends will perform in the stage area

A “Kiddie Land” section, separate from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the midway, offers parents a safe, fun place for their little ones to ride. The fair, with midway brought by Amusements of America, is a family-oriented affair and deputies from the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department patrol the parking lot and grounds nightly, according to Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.


Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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