City officials were out in force in parts of Knoxville Friday morning performing code enforcements. The city issues notices to property owners for violations that may have a negative effect on the neighborhood.More >>
City officials were out in force in parts of Knoxville Friday morning performing codes enforcements. The city issues notices to property owners for violations that may have a negative effect on the neighborhood.More >>
JEFFERSON CITY (WATE) - The Jefferson County Fair kicked off Thursday night.
For many rural communities a yearly event is something to look forward to, but many people wonder if fairs are still as popular as they once were.
Jefferson County Fair President Ricky Taylor says his fair is still very successful. "I grew up going to a fair, actually the Tennessee Valley Fair," he said. "I love fairs."
When Taylor started working at the Jefferson County Fair 29 years ago, only 400 people showed up.
However, those numbers have increased each year. "Last year, we had 28,000, and the year before that it was 26,000," Taylor said. "We are looking to reach 35,000 this year. That is my goal."
James Cox, the director of Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue in Clinton, has a petting zoo at this year's fair. He's been going to fairs across East Tennessee for 19 years.
"Over the years, I've watched the fairs," Cox said. "I watch it get to a level where it leveled out, but in the last three years I've watched it come back."
Fair officials say the tough economy has actually helped fairs. Families can have fun for a cheaper price. At this fair, there's a $12 admission price, which includes all rides and shows.
The fair is also good for the local economy.
"A lot of people from outside the county come in," Taylor said. "We have a lot of people from Cocke County, Hamblen County, Grainger County, and even Knox County that comes to the fair."
Taylor says they usually have a budget of $150,000 for the fair. This year, $100,000 of that went to entertainment. He says at the end, there usually is not a huge profit.
"Our attendance has grown every year," Taylor said. "I think it's because of the value of the fair where people pay one price and get in. It's a lot cheaper than the other fairs, and there is a lot to see and do at the Jefferson County Fair."
He just hopes more people will continue to enjoy the annual tradition.
The Jefferson County Fair will continue until August 11. The gates open at 5:00 each night. More information is posted on the Jefferson County Fair website or call 865-475-8805.
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