IOW County fair a big hit

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ISLE OF WIGHT—Lower prices, mild weather and more attractions brought record numbers to the Isle of Wight County Fair over the weekend.

“Attendance was over 20,000 guests compared to 12,500 last year,” said Darlene Keyt, fair coordinator.

The fair’s popular midway featured a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, a giant swing, a coaster, a Tilt-a-Whirl and other attractions for people of all ages. Monster truck rides and a petting zoo also were offered. Fairgoers could ride atop ponies or an elephant, or brave trips in monster trucks or a helicopter.

Soul singer Clarence Carter took the stage Friday, though the next day was the best attended, according to Keyt.

“Saturday was our big day,” Keyt said. “Our admission chairman reported over 10,000 people entered the gates. We brought in a lot of folks with competitions, our truck and tractor pull and our top entertainment included country music star Jack Ingram on our main stage.”

Country rockers Confederate Railroad played for fairgoers on Sunday afternoon to close out the fair.

The weather cooperated throughout the weekend, with sunny skies, light winds and temperatures in the high 70s.

But it was the organization and volunteers that made the fair a success this year, Keyt said.

“The Isle of Wight County Fair is a huge community undertaking, and the committee is thankful to all who volunteered, sponsored, donated items or services and, in particular, those who attended,” she said. “The weather could not have been better. People are still talking about the quality and organization of the fair this year and the committee is looking forward to seeing the final numbers regarding revenue for the fair.”

It also helped that the entry ticket prices were only $5, she added. Last year’s regular admission price was $8.

“The Isle of Wight County Fair truly gave attendees the biggest bang for their buck, and we look forward to bringing the community an even bigger and better Isle of Wight County Fair in September 2010.”