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NEA District Fair preps months for opening day

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 11:08 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The NEA District Fair’s carnival starts Thursday. The rides are up, and vendors are putting the final touches on their displays. Mitch Johnson, the fair manager, says it takes about ten months to get to this point.

“We actually start in January. We have a fair managers convention in Hot Springs. All the fairs around the state get together. We have resources to work with, classes, and things like that. We start our preparation then,” said Johnson.

Fair workers have been putting up the rides since Monday and plan to install the event stage on Sunday.

Johnson says the event is a huge financial asset to the community, bringing in more people and revenue.

“You’ve got 16 different counties coming in to show livestock, they have exhibits in the building, all those different people do come they stay in hotels, they spend money locally, so it’s a good thing for the economics of the community,” said Johnson.

The fair is also taking COVID-19 precautions, encouraging people to spread out, and making preparations for indoor vendors.

“We’ve got our tables and chairs distanced out, of course, and we’ve got plenty of hand sanitizer around to make everything safe for everyone,” said Johnson.

After the fair closes up on Oct. 2, it’ll take about two weeks to tear everything down. Then the process starts over again in January.

The fair’s carnival starts Sept. 23, which includes all the rides, food, and a petting zoo.

Then fair week officially kicks off on Sept. 27. In addition to the rides, there will be agriculture competitions, entertainment, and vendor booths until Oct. 2.

For a full schedule, click here.

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