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Always magic at the county fair

The Johnson County Chamber of Commerce once again brought fun and entertainment to local residents with the fourth annual Johnson County Fair. To the delight of many children, both young and old, the sights and smells that only a fair can bring tempted many at the Johnson County Chamber Park this past week.
Although it rained the first two evenings of the fair, the weather did not dampen the spirits of those who came out to enjoy some fun. Children gleefully ran from one ride to the other, their faces alight with smiles and laughter. There were 14 rides this year at the county fair, ranging from mild and calm for the weak of heart to wilder rides for those dare devils who like a little more excitement. These included your must have Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, train ride, bumper cars and pirate ships that rocked high into the hot, summer air. For an additional fee, children could enjoy a pony ride. A county fair wouldn’t be complete without the stuffed animals and prizes that could be won. The smells of sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs, chili dogs, burritos, candy apples and funnel cakes drifted through the air, bringing an appetite to many visitors. Stephen Springer of Laurel Bloomery was once again cooking at a local Johnson County event with his Tex-Mex food freshly made from the Mexicali Blue Cantina. “I expect a big crowd tonight, “ Springer said.
The fair began on Wednesday evening and continued through Saturday, August 14th. There were plenty of activities planned, in addition to the rides. There was local gospel musicians, a talent show, an ATV rally and Johnson County’s own Cruisers Club. A local poker run was planned, as well as an Olympic tractor show from Galax, Virginia, bringing 25 to 35 tractors with them for this event. A group of local musicians, known as Lonesome Dove, entertained the audience Saturday evening. Bob Mink, Barry and Quint Reece, Mike Taylor and Jack Profitt are the members of this talented group. Locals organizations presented exhibits pertaining to gardening, canning and field crops, along with home economics and agricultural mechanics. Flipping hamburgers on the grill, Melody Grayson, Chamber vice-president, was pleased with the turnout at the county fair, despite the evening storms.
The rides and games were provided by Sunshine Amusements out of Florida. From March until October, various crews of approximately 20 employees travel throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, New Jersey and Florida providing rides, games, amusement and most importantly, fun, to various communities. According to Garth Nicely from Kingsport, Tennessee, the crews travel to approximately 35 county fairs during the carnival season. Often the employees will sleep in campers or go to local hotels as they travel up and down the east coast. Watching the children running from ride to ride and listening to their laughter, Nicely mused, “There’s a lot of magic to a county fair.”