Gloucester County Fair opens tonight

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Jul 28, 2010 - 06:12 PM

There will be plenty to do for all members of the family this week during the annual Gloucester County Fair at Ark Park, said Rachael Burnette, long-time chairman of the event.

Photo: Carnival workers Gary Smith, William Benoist and Jerry Rickett Jr., from left, set up carnival rides at the Gloucester County Fair. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Carnival workers Gary Smith, William Benoist and Jerry Rickett Jr., from left, set up carnival rides at the Gloucester County Fair. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Burnette, who will be recognized for her service during opening ceremonies tonight, said that this year’s fair had to be moved up from its traditional mid-August timeframe because of conflict with a Civil War event. Another change for the fair, which will run through Saturday, is that it will be one day shorter than in recent years to allow the carnival operator to meet his next scheduled date.

Burnette said she would not hazard a guess as to this year’s attendance, going into the fair; Sunday, which was added years ago as a rain makeup day, had proved to draw big crowds many years, she said.

Those changes aside, Burnette is excited that the unusually hot temperatures seem to have eased a bit and that the forecast calls for better weather during the next few days.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 6:30 o’clock tonight. The associated carnival opened at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Fair exhibits can be entered from 3:30-8 o’clock tonight.

At 7 tonight, the Miss Gloucester Fair Pageant will be held. Then, Burnette, who recently announced this is her last year heading the citizen-organized fair (with some Gloucester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism support), will be recognized for chairing the fair for about 20 years and being active in it for about 40 years.

The fair and carnival will be open from 6-10 p.m. Friday. A petting zoo, horse-drawn cart rides, premium exhibits, and craft sales will be held. A cake auction will begin at 6:30.

Also Friday, Showtime Karaoke will begin at 7 p.m., Burnette said, with a Talent Show at 8. Bingo begins at 7, she said, with door prizes presented at 10 p.m.

The fair gates and carnival—complete with adult and kiddie rides and lots of games and festival food—will open at noon on Saturday. All Friday events, like the petting zoo and premium exhibits, will be continued, Burnette said.

Other Saturday events will include Home Depot Kids Workshop, 4-H Horse Show at 2 p.m., Kountry Kickers Cloggers at 4, and the Rt. 17 Band, a country group, performing at 5.

Later Saturday, bingo will begin at 7 p.m., R.B. and the Rockers, a country rock band, will hit the stage at 8, and door prizes will be presented at 10.

Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children. Parking and shuttle service are free of charge. A separate fee is charged for the carnival rides. Crafts, food and other items will be for sale.

Persons who purchased the wristband ticket in advance can have unlimited rides at the carnival during designated times this Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Volunteers are still needed to assist with parking, ticket-taking, and other duties, Burnette said. For more information, call her at 693-2729 or Gloucester Parks, Recreation and Tourism at 693-2355.