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County Fair pleases McNairy

The McNairy County Fair lit up the Selmer night sky and saw nearly 4,300 walk through the gate. Staff Photo by Andrew Alexander

The McNairy County Fair saw a decent turnout while it was in town last week.

The County Fair is usually held later in the year, in August, but the Selmer Jaycees responsible for this year’s fair considered the event a success, despite this year’s timing.

Temperatures were high during the majority of the fair seeing lows at night  dipping into  the mid-80’s, but according to Jaycee Chamber of the Board Stephen Berryman, spirits were still high.

“I felt the fair was fair for the time we had it,” said Berryman. “We tried to provide a better fair company for the community” than in years past.

Dixieland Carnival Company provided rides, games, and food vendors for this year’s county fair, and the Jaycees were pleased with their efforts.

“We heard nothing but good things about the fair company from people coming through the gates,” said Berryman but, “To continue getting quality fair companies, we definitely need the support of the community.

“To keep a quality carnival company like Dixieland Carnival Company we would at least need to double the amount of fair attendees,” Berryman said.

Nearly 4,300 people visited the McNairy County Fairgrounds during the week of the fair and hosted a bevy of events ranging from gospel music on Wednesday night to the demolition derby on Saturday night.

“The largest draw at the gates was Saturday,” said Berryman. “The demolition derby is always the biggest draw.”

There were only four competitors in this year’s demolition derby, but that did not effect the entertainment value of cars ramming into one another in a muddy circle of twisted metal and collisions.

With $2,500 up for grabs for the winner of the event, all the drivers had to come with their best efforts.

Harlan Williams of Savannah finished in first place and carried home this year’s demolition derby trophy, but the prize money was split between Roger Hubanks, Timmy Millmeyer and Williams. Each walked away with more than $750.

 Shane Grimes was disqualified earlier in the derby for an illegal driver-side door collision which the drivers had already been warned about.

One downside to the fair’s headlining events was the absence of the 4X4 truck pulling competition.

“The only drawback was not being able to have the 4X4 truck pull,” said Berryman. “There were complications because the event’s coordinator had some malfunctioning machinery.”

Another oddity Berryman noted was the fact that there were very few entries for homemade items at this year’s county fair.

“Hattie Baker of Ramer provided the majority of the crochet, quilts, and needle points, while there was only one individual that submitted baked goods,” said Berryman. “And  there were no entries for jams, jellies, and the homemade ice cream competitions.”

Local businesses and vendors were allowed to set up tables in the Jaycee Building all week to promote their businesses, sell items, and interact with the community at no cost.

The cost of putting on the county fair was roughly $4,000 according to Berryman, and that is without counting bathrooms and utilities. Not to mention the $500 for insurance to cover the fair in the event that something went wrong.

Berryman said that the extra money earned at this year’s county fair would go toward Thanksgiving baskets for underprivileged families, a Christmas shopping spree, and the Christmas parade.

Next up for the Selmer Jaycees will be the “Back to School Bash and Fun Day” that will take place at the Jaycee’s Building on High School Road in Selmer on July 23.

The event will have inflatable jumpers for kids, Karaoke, and will end with TDWA Wrestling.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. and a full day pass will cost $10 covering all expenses except for food.

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