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8,500 to 10,000 attend Fair

Michelle Wise of Newsoms holds her daughter Emma Lee, 8 months, during the Tiny Tots Contest at the Franklin-Southampton Fair on Saturday. -- Gwen Albers | Tidewater News

COURTLAND—An estimated 8,500 to 10,000 attended the three-day Franklin-Southampton County Fair, which closed Saturday with a show by rising hometown country music star Colton James.

The fair, which in past years has last four days, historically draws between 8,000 and 15,000 people, said Sandra Heeren, treasurer for the Fair Board of Directors. She said for this year’s fair Saturday’s attendance was the best.

“People came and went Saturday because it was an all-day event,” Heeren said.

The day opened with the Tiny Tots Contest and included the Cornhole Tournament, Watermelon Eating Contest, Children’s Events and music by Shiloh Grass, Big Time and James.

Friday night’s performance by the Marshall Tucker Band drew about 3,200 to the fair.

A storm that rolled in at about 8 p.m. Thursday forced fair officials to close down early for the opening day.

“The queen contest had just ended, and the talent show was getting ready to start,” Heeren said.

Attendance for the queen contest was good. Heeren said she assumes it was because the contest included 10 candidates, compared to the normal five to seven.

“We were very excited to (have so many contestants),” Heeren said.

Megan Revelle, 16, of Franklin was crowned queen. Laurel Pope, 17, of Franklin was runner-up.