Canceled Autauga Co. Fair will return; date set for October - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Canceled Autauga Co. Fair will return; date set for October

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Mrs. Deborah Cheatum issues the first wristband for the 2013 Autauga County Fair to Mayor Gillespie while Mr. Mike Surles and Mr. Gary Essary look on. Mrs. Deborah Cheatum issues the first wristband for the 2013 Autauga County Fair to Mayor Gillespie while Mr. Mike Surles and Mr. Gary Essary look on.
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PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) -

"The Autauga County Fair is back!" exclaimed Gary Essary, President of the newly formed Autauga County Fair Organization (AFCO). "Mr. and Mrs. Gene Hall had put so many years of dedicated work into making the fair a fun, family tradition that it was sad to see it go away" he stated. In March of this year, Mr. Hall, announced that members of the fair association's executive board were resigning their positions and would no longer host the annual fall county fair held in Prattville.

Mr. Mike Surles of the Autauga County Rescue Squad had been involved with putting on the fair for many years and didn't want to see it go away either. He and Lt Col Essary, a Prattville High School AF JROTC Instructor, formed a new fair organization with their respective non-profit groups and immediately set about making arrangements for the 46th continuous year. "With only three months left, we have a lot to get done before the first week in October," stated Mr. Surles.

The fair will be held October 1 – 5, 2013, Tuesday through Friday (6 pm to 10 pm) and Saturday (1pm to 10 pm) at Mac Gray Park in Prattville, AL. Information on the fair can be found on the ACFO website: www.AutaugaCountyFair.com. The ACFO plans to bring back the popular exhibit competitions by local artisans, cooks and artists. "We've had a lot of input to bring back these arts and crafts competitions and are exploring the possibility of adding livestock/animal exhibit shows," Mr. Essary stated.

The Fair Director, Mrs. Deborah Cheatum, added "We were lucky to book Dixieland Carnival on such short notice to provide the midway entertainment." Dixieland has provided Autauga County with many years of exciting mid-way thrill rides and games. They added two new rides in 2012 called High Energy and Flying Dutchman. Mrs. Cheatum stated ticket sales will be similar to years past and the very popular $20 wristband allowing fairgoers unlimited rides for each day would be sold every day.

The Gene and Virginia Hall Building will once again hold space for commercial exhibit booths as well as outdoor space for vendors. Applications can be found on the web site along with commercial rates.

Booking entertainment for this year's fair is ongoing with an invitation extended to local groups to apply on the website for the opportunity to perform on the Fairgrounds Stage. Mrs. Cheatum is currently booking sponsors for many of the competitions and entertainment talent. "We want to make this fair a community event and welcome individuals and businesses that would like to get involved," she stated.  Another new addition is a petting zoo.

Wednesday night is traditionally "church night" in most of the South and the new AFCO President wanted to carry that tradition to the fair. "We are looking for local church choirs, praise groups, and gospel quartets to perform for fairgoers on Wednesday night," said Mr. Essary. Updates to other entertainment will be added to the web site as bookings are made.

"This fair is a wonderful Autauga County tradition that many families look forward to each year," said Mr. Essary.  Our goal in 2013 is to continue that tradition of fun, safe entertainment for all."

INFORMATION SOURCE: Autauga County Fair Organization

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