Approximately 30 local Warren County A&L Fair representatives, along with hundreds of fair members and workers from across the state, will gather this weekend for the 97th Tennessee Association of Fairs Convention.
The event will be held Jan. 17-19 in Nashville at the Sheraton Music City Hotel.
Warren County was the recipient of the AA division State Championship Award at last year’s event and is in the running to receive the Champion of Champions Award this year. To earn that distinction, Warren County has to beat winners from the A and AAA divisions. That determination will be announced during the Merit Awards Banquet taking place Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
According to local fair president Kenneth Medlen, chances are good we will come out on top.
“I feel like our fair is as good as anybody’s, if not better,” said Medlen. “In something like this, though, you never know.”
Fair representatives visit the fairs of division winners to determine the Champion of Champions.
“Of course we would like to win, but we don’t do this for the trophy or the recognition. We do it for the people of Warren County,” said Medlen. “We try to put on the best fair at all times.”
He also reiterated our fair doesn’t charge a gate fee, and operating funds are derived from the carnival, as well as rental fees from food booths and buildings.
Another exciting part of the convention is the Tennessee Association of Fairs Fairest of the Fair Pageant, which will be held Friday at 6 p.m.
Warren County’s Fairest of the Fair Emily Faith Pennington will join 54 Fairest of Fair winners to compete for the state honor. She is the 18-year-old daughter of Sherry and Nathan Burnett, and is a senior at Warren County High School.
Pennington will participate in numerous activities during the convention leading up to the pageant on Friday, including a Queen’s Ball, educational sessions and luncheons, before interview sessions with pageant judges on Friday morning.
One of the more fun aspects of the convention for Pennington is the shoe decorating competition, with each contestant submitting a high heel shoe decorated to represent her county.
“We chose to showcase the nursery industry with my shoe wrapped in a map of Warren County,” said Pennington. “It is filled with dirt and has a tree growing out of it. The theme of our 2019 fair will be Our Roots Run, so this idea fit perfectly.”
A large group of family and friends will be here to cheer her on, as well as those attending the fair convention.
“I’m so excited to represent such a long-standing tradition in Warren Countyand hope to make my county proud,” said Pennington.