It's here! The most exciting week (actually nine days) of the year in Warren County has arrived.
As a born-and-raised Warren County boy, the fair has always had a special place in my heart. I always just figured every county embraced its fair. Only in recent years have I learned how truly special the Warren County A & L Fair is. I've heard from plenty of people from surrounding counties who say they don't visit their own fair but they make a point to never miss Warren County's. Part of the credit for that goes to our fair's status as one of the few, if not the only, free fair in Tennessee. Another large part of the credit goes to the tireless efforts of the Fair Board and other volunteers. To borrow a phrase from the Southeastern Conference, when it comes to Warren County and the Fair, "it just means more."
Another thing working in our favor is the timing of our fair. The second full week in September is just the perfect time of year for an outdoor community event. You can almost always count on starting out fair week in shorts and a T-shirt and a layer of sweat. By the closing Saturday night, many jackets make their emergance from the closet for the first time in months.
In our first year of dating, my now-wife Ashley and I discovered that the Warren County A & L Fair is one of the few things that we each love at the same level - and that level is high. You can find us there at least once per day and we pretty much eat every meal at the fair that week.
Over the years, we've made the inevitable transition from viewing rides as the primary attraction to focusing on food and seeing and talking to folks as the main reason for going. You can always count on seeing many friends there, possibly for the first time since last year's fair.
And there's definitely plenty to eat and lots of great local organizations to support with your food puchase. Ashley and I make a point to eat at every local booth over the course of the week. She's even become locally Facebook-famous with her #Ashleyeatsthefair posts. Many people have told her they have come to depend on her posts to help them decide on where and what they'll eat at the fair.
I questioned her about why she thought anyone would care what she eats at the fair until I personally experienced the power of the hashtag. I'm a creature of habit and am very comfortable falling into a rut. As such, my standard fair fare is usually a couple of corn dogs and a Sun-Drop. For fun, she started tracking my corn dog consumption with a #corndogcount on her posts. Since she started, I barely make a lap at the fair without being asked by someone, (often someone I don't know) "what's the corn dog count up to?"
So if I haven't already made it clear, I really love the fair. And if you happen to see me out there, say "hi" and feel free to ask what the corn dog count is up to. I've gotten used to it.
Seth Wright can be reached at (931) 473-2191