Darren Doyle, story and photo:
After missing the first fair in Edmonson County in more than 50 years due to the 2020 virus pandemic, the Edmonson County Lions Club Fair is returning to the fairgrounds in September.
Some of the most popular events featured annually at the fair are returning, such as the demolition derby, mud bog, pageants, and baby show; however, there are going to be some changes, still due in part by the pandemic.
The biggest change? There will be no carnival at this year's fair. Lions Club President Jimmie Duvall explained the situation to us earlier today.
"Of course, we had to cancel everything last year because of the pandemic," he said. "And we didn't really know if we were going to be able to have one this year, either. Carnival companies are expensive and they are booked at least a year in advance. By the time we decided it would be safe enough to have the fair this year, those carnival companies were no longer available."
Lions Club members Julia Wilson, who is also with the Edmonson County Extension Office, and Greg Hudson, Director for the Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce, are working together to try to create a fall festival-type atmosphere that will include a host of activities for this year's fair, which will take place on Fair Day.
According to Wilson and Hudson, activities scheduled so far are inflatables, games, food vendors, other vendor booths, exhibits, and a petting zoo with more possible additions coming later.
While many kids will be disappointed to know the rides won't be available this year, the annual Lions Club Parade is scheduled to take place on Fair Day, where kids will be out of school. The Edmonson Voice will also livestream the entire parade.
In addition to the parade and other popular events, the annual pageants are also scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 2nd and Saturday, September 4th at the Edmonson County High School auditorium.
The fair is also offering a new event, which is mud run for both trucks and side by sides. This is different from a mud bog as it is not a deep pit where most vehicles don't make it, but a slimy track intended to see how fast the vehicles can make it through.
Also added to this year's fair is the return of a very popular attraction not seen here since 2018, which is the rodeo.
The current schedule of events are as follows:
The Lions Club is also working to construct a brand new demolition derby ring on the north side of the mud pits. Fair Board Chairman Mike Blanton said this was for the purpose of allowing more spectators to attend in a safer manner and would allow for more lawn chairs.
Duvall said while this wouldn't be exactly how the Lions Club would prefer, they are working hard to make it the best they can.
"We're already planning for next year," he said. "We've been in contact with several carnival companies. Several of them went out of business during the pandemic and it will take others a year or two to bounce back from it. County fairs are dying everywhere and we're doing all we can to see that this one keeps going."
All members of the Lions Club are volunteers and are paid nothing. All proceeds from the fair go towards the Lions Club charitable causes throughout the year, which include multiple benefits for the Edmonson County needy and children.
This year's Grand Marshal will be Scotty Woodcock, the last living charter member of the Edmonson County Lions Club.
Lori Alexander is the coordinator for the Edmonson County Fair AND Local Pageants this year. She has released the following information regarding the 2021 Edmonson County Pageants:
LOCAL PAGEANT ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2021
In addition to our open Miss Edmonson County Fair pageant, this year we would like to have a separate “local only” pageant for our local contestants. In order to have a separate pageant, we will need at least 7 girls in each category. We would like to hold this pageant on September 2nd 2021 at the Edmonson County High School auditorium.
We will open registration for the LOCAL ONLY contestants on Saturday August 14th from 12-4 pm and will be set up in the Edmonson County High School lobby (front entrance) to accept applications and payment.
Our local winners will be eligible to compete in the Miss KY Festival pageant that will be held in November. We will have THE following categories: Tiny Miss 4-6, Little Miss 7-9, Miss Pre-teen 10-12, Miss Teen 13-15, Miss 16-21. We will also have optional categories and photogenic winner.
Some questions you may have:
Does this mean I can compete in the local and open Miss Edmonson County Fair pageant (held on Sept. 4th) and potentially hold both titles? -YES!
Does this mean that I can compete in the local pageant if I have won a county fair title in another county? YES
If your contestant would like to compete in the local-only and open Miss Edmonson County Fair pageant- contact Lori for payment information.
You can contact Lori at 270-784-8520 with any questions.
EDMONSON COUNTY FAIR PAGEANTS ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2021: