BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Just three years shy of marking a century of county fairs, organizers of the Independence County Fair are not afraid of heat and not afraid to be first. The 97-year-old fair, held in Batesville every year, is the first county fair held in the state of Arkansas during fair season.
"We're going to have some new rides this year," Matt Lloyd, Independence County fair board member said. "We're going to have tea cups!"
The fair started Monday night with a dog show.
"It's going to benefit the Independence County Humane Society," Debbie McCluskey, fair board member said.
The fair includes rides, performances, and livestock.
"We have several creative arts exhibits this year, I think," Lloyd said. "The exhibits number over 5,000 this year!"
Live entertainment features a "Tribute to Patsy Cline" on Wednesday, July 19 at 8 p.m.
Country music artist John Berry will entertain crowds on Thursday, July 20 at 8 p.m. He is probably best known for his Number One single "Your Love Amazes Me" and six additional Top Ten hits dating back to the '90's.
Colin Raye follows Berry's performance on Friday night at 8 p.m. Raye is best known for his song, "Little Rock" back in the '90's.
Saturday night finds singer, songwriter and television personality Bill Anderson on stage at 8 p.m. Anderson has been a regular on stage at the Grand Ole Opry. His songs have been recorded by many other singer-songwriters including George Strait. They collaborated on the song, "Give It Away." "Whiskey Lullaby" also won Anderson the title of Video of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the year in 2004.
The fair will host Senior Citizens Day on Friday, July 21. Plans call for bingo with prizes and lunch from the Independence County Senior Citizens Center. White River Area Agency on Aging plans to set up an informational booth. Blood pressure, glucose and heart screenings will also be offered.
"Each year, we pay tribute to our veterans," Lloyd explained. "This is going to be our ninth year."
Saturday, July 22 is known as Veteran's and Military Appreciation Day. A field of flags pays tribute to the Independence County Veterans. The Veterans Wall of Fame will be on site. The Stone County Honor Guard will present the nation's colors and perform Taps, plus perform a 21 Gun Salute.
"Fair Board member Charles Jordan and I sat down with a cup of coffee at a conference," Lloyd explained the reasoning behind Veteran's and Military Appreciation Day at the Independence County Fair. "He is a Vietnam Veteran and he developed this day at the conference and put it into action. It has grown each year and it is the highlight of the week and a great way to finalize fair week."
Each of Independence County's veterans will be recognized during a special ceremony. Activities for Veteran's and Military Appreciation Day begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
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