Georgia National Fair in full swing

The Georgia National Fair in Perry opened on Thursday, October 6, and will run through Sunday, October 16, 2016, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry.

Georgia Fair Swings
There are plenty of exciting rids for the kids at the Georgia National Fair. Photo by Doug Deal.

Families from all across the state travel to Perry to experience all of the best in wholesome fun. Be prepared to walk A LOT, although there are accommodations including handicapped parking and trolley transportation from the parking lots to the fairgrounds. Still, comfortable shoes and clothing are a wise choice.

There are many choices of food vendors selling everything from traditional fair foods like corn dogs, funnel cakes, and turkey legs, to Greek specialties, steak sandwiches, and grilled veggies. There are also treats ranging from Mayfield ice cream to apple dumplings, and of course, caramel apples and lots of cotton candy. New food vendors this year include Cedar River Seafood, the Donut Shop, and Coolicious Treats.

Among the most popular attractions at the Georgia National Fair are the midway rides, which include a Ferris wheel, a small roller coaster, and a high swing. A special selection of kiddie rides includes spinning cups and a child-sized roller coaster. Several rides are proportioned so that parents can ride with their children. The Agri-lift carries riders high above the midway, and rentable paddle boats let families enjoy time on the water below.

A note about the rides: on weekdays and the final Sunday of the fair, ride-all-you-want armbands are available, but they are not sold for the first full weekend of the fair, or on the second Saturday. Tickets for rides are approximately a dollar each, although purchasing in bulk gives a discount on ticket price, and most rides cost 3-5 tickets, though some cost even more. Also, some attractions, like the paddle boats, are cash pay. On Terrific Tuesday, arm bands are discounted, so if you love rides, or have children who do, it may be well worth it to make a weeknight trip.

The rides aren’t the only fun at the fair. The Georgia National Fair website has a map of all the attractions, as well as printable schedules for daily performances, livestock shows, horse competitions, and special events. Plan ahead!

Georgia National Fair - Rides
The Wiggle-Worm is a popular ride with younger children. Photo by Doug Deal.

Among the fun performances scheduled for the fair include daily magician shows, sea lion performances, a petting zoo with special feeding times, and many other daily concerts and performances. Every night at 10 p.m., the fair closes with fireworks over the pond.

One of the coolest opportunities for families is the chance to go see the Royal Hanneford Circus inside the fair, and admission is already included in your fair entrance fee. Showtimes are 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m. daily, with an additional 2 p.m. show on Saturday.

Between livestock and equestrian shows, fairgoers can roam through the barns and see the cows, sheep, horses, rabbits, chickens, and other animals on display at the fair. Unlike in past years, children can’t hold the baby chicks, but watching them is always fun.

There are many educational exhibits at the Georgia National Fair. These include livestock and wildlife exhibits, and agricultural and gardening exhibits. The Miller-Murphy-Howard Building, Heritage Hall, and the Georgia Grown building house these exhibits. One of the newest exhibits is the bee story, devoted to Georgia’s beekeeping and honey producing industry. In the Georgia Grown building, fairgoers also have the opportunity to support Georgia agri-industry by purchasing homegrown products sold at the Georgia Grown Pavilion.

Nearby, in the McGill Marketplace Shops, vendors offer everything from leaf-guard gutters to handmade fudge and jewelry to boots. It’s a great place to start your holiday shopping. If you have a Thomas train fan, be sure to check out the train tables set up in the back corner, where your little engineer can play with trains while you relax on nearby benches.

At the Georgia National Fair, there is truly something for everyone. Fun fair foods, exciting rides and performances, free concerts for lovers of all kinds of music, livestock shows, equestrian shows, educational exhibits, and much, much more. There is no better way to enjoy all of the best that Georgia has to offer, and it’s a great way to celebrate fall in Middle Georgia.

For more information, including daily schedules and ticket information, please visit the Georgia National Fair website at http://georgianationalfair.com/

 

 

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