A new pageant will be one of the highlights of the Warren County A&L Fair, which is just 23 days away.
The Preteen Fairest of the Fair will make its debut on opening night, which is Friday, Sept. 7. The pageant will be held at Grandstand Arena and start at 7 p.m.
“We’ve had a lot of requests to add some age groups to our pageant offerings so we started with this,” said Susan Burks, one of the pageant organizers. “We still have the 13 to 15 age group that’s left open, but we’re going to take it one at a time and start with this one.”
Little Fairest of the Fair is open to ages 7-9. Preteen Fairest is open to girls 10-12, and Fairest of the Fair is open to girls 16-21.
The Fairest of the Fair will have some newfound excitement with the addition of a $1,000 scholarship from River Park Hospital. Burks says she hopes the $1,000 will encourage the field to climb to 60 or 70 entries. Last year there were 47.
Also new this year is a Wednesday night lineup that will feature Christian comedian Aaron Wilburn. He is part of a church-related them Wednesday night that will also feature choir singing and prayer.
“The Central Baptist Association is encouraging its congregations to relocate their services that night to the fairgrounds,” said Steven Helton, one of the entertainment organizers. “Our goal is to have an entertaining evening that’s spiritual at the same time.
“The Christian comedian had me in stitches watching him on the Internet, but he has a good message too. As for the singing, it will include audience involvement. I think it will be powerful to have a grandstand packed full of people who are all singing.”
Country music star John Anderson headlined last year’s entertainment, but there won’t be a big name this year. Fair board members have decided to go with local talent instead of paying big money for a famous act.
“Being a free fair where no one has to pay a dime to come in the gates can make funding pretty lean,” said Helton. “This year we decided as a group that improving our handicapped parking was more important than a name for entertainment. Several people made negative comments about the handicapped parking issue last year so that’s something we’re going to correct, but it takes money to do that.”
For additional information about the fair, visit www.warrencountyalfair.org.