NEA Fair Kicked Off Monday - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Heather Flanigan Reports

NEA Fair Kicked Off Monday

September 18, 2006 - Posted at 5:19 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- The Northeast Arkansas District Fair is officially underway.....gates opened Monday at noon for the fair, which runs through Saturday. 

Sponsored by the Jonesboro Jaycees and the Craighead County Farm Bureau...the fair is a mixture of things for city and country folk, both young and old.

The Northeast Arkansas District fair kicked off to a bit of rainy start on Monday, but it was no reason folks couldn't come and check out the 136 commercial booths, the thousands of educational exhibits and the hundreds of animals on display at the livestock barns and hopefully, when the weather gets a little bit better, this year's attendance will top last year's figure of more than 50,000 people.

The NEA fair began as a way for rural Arkansans to get together.

"People would be working on a craft or a skill and they would bring it to the fair once a year and they would have specials to be able to look at it and tell them how they can improve what they were doing and so the beginning of the fair is in education," said Craighead County Extension Agent Debbie DeRossitte.

Today, it's grown into much more than just judging.

"Pretty much, you name it, we got it," laughed Jaycee Beverly Judd, "We start cooking about 10:30 in the morning, and we are here until the fair closes at night."

The Jaycee's Snack Shack is still a hot spot on the fair grounds. "We have hamburgers, cheeseburgers, popcorn chicken.  We have pizzas, corndogs, and hotdogs. This year we are selling popsicles and ring pops," said Judd, "Everybody has their favorites and they just come and get them."

It's not hard to make new friends at the NEA Fair.  This year in the petting zoo, there's Rocky, he's an Aoudad...which is also known as an African Sheep. You can have the chance to be a kid or just feed one at the petting zoo.

  • Monday night is Buddy Night....which means two people ride for the price of one.  Also, country music star Keith Anderson takes the stage at the Grandstand for a free concert at 7:30.  The Rocky Clements Magic Show begins at 7:45 at the front stage and the Gage Country concert begins at 8:30 at the KFIN stage.   
  • Tuesday night, all ASU Freshman get in free with a valid student id.  Trick Pony will be in concert at the Grandstand at 7:30 and Sonset will play the KFIN stage at 8:30.  
  • Wednesday is Dollar Day with Spectacular and Adult Rides only $2 and all other rides just $1.  Grant Garland will play the KFIN stage at 7:00 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m.  The Northeast Arkansas District Fair & The Fox 104.9 Youth Talent Contest will start at 7:00 p.m.   
  • Thursday is Senior Day/Arm Band Day.  Seniors over 65 are admitted free from 1:00-6:00 p.m.  Arm Bands are only $10 on the Midway from 4:00-11:00 p.m.  Singing Echos & Rev. Stan Ballard & Cross Roads will perform free at the Grandstand at 7:00 p.m.  Josh Walker will take the KFIN Stage at 8:30 p.m.
  • Children's Day is Friday, Sept. 22nd.  Children under 12 are admitted free from 1:00-6:00 p.m.  The Northeast Arkansas District Fair Queen Pageant will begin at the Grandstand at 7:30 p.m.  Georgi Baker will take the KFIN Stage at 8:30 p.m.
  • Arm Band Day will wrap up the Fair on Saturday, Sept. 23rd with $5 gate admission for everyone.  Single rides are available from 12:00-11:00 p.m.  $12 Arm Bands on the Midway.  The New Talent Showcase will start at the KFIN Stage at 7:00 p.m.  Ronnie McDowell will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Grandstand and the Demolition Derby will take place at the Arena.  Admission to the Derby is $4. 

The Midway opens at 4:00 p.m. M-F and at noon on Saturday.

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