The 68th annual Patrick County Agricultural Fair was a hit, according to a member of the Rotary Club of Stuart, which organized the event.
Sonny Swails estimated the multi-day event was attended by 7,000 to 9,000 fairgoers.
“Friday night was very large. Saturday night was the biggest night for our Demolition Derby,” he said.
On Saturday night, Swails said the club filled up all four parking lots and about two-thirds of Clark Gas & Oil’s field.
“We were running very short on parking places,” Swails said, and added that one of the positives he heard about regarding the fair was the ribeye steak sandwiches for sale.
“The Rotary Club actually took that over from the Cattlemen’s Association, and we had a great week selling steak sandwiches with very positive feedback,” he said.
A majority of the feedback though was that people were glad to attend after two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The biggest feedback is that people were glad to get back to the fair, and the weather was spectacular. It was just a great week,” Swails said, adding there were multiple comments about the fireworks display.
“Several people said it was the best fireworks show that we have ever had at the fair,” he said.
Chris Corbett, the Fireworks Coordinator for the county, said the display was about 8 to 10 minutes long.
“We shot roughly 143 shells and five pre-packaged boxes. There were seven people involved including myself,” Corbett said.
Beverly Morrison, of Woolwine, said this was her first year attending the fair in several years.
“I have grandkids coming now, so I had to come for that,” she said, adding that her favorite part of the fair was watching her family enjoy themselves on the rides.
“That’s what this is all about. You know when I was younger, the fair was a huge, big thing … because I was younger, but now it’s just watching them,” she said.
Morrison added she also enjoyed catching up with people that she hasn’t seen in a while.
“I just think it’s great that Patrick County was able to do this this year finally after a couple of years of not being able to do it. Just having it going on is good,” she said.
Mary Edmonds, of Collinsville, said she decided to attend with her family after years of skipping the fair.
“I came, and my grandbabies and great-grandchildren are running around everywhere,” she said.
Edmonds said the items in the agricultural section held her attention, and the funnel cakes were a treat. “It ain’t a fair without a funnel cake,” she said, chuckling.
While not a serious ride participant, Edmonds planned to cap off her night with a ride on the Ferris Wheel.
Amanda Cobler, of Patrick Springs, said this was her first time attending the annual fair after moving to the area earlier this year.
“We like it so far. Our girls are really enjoying themselves. Their favorite part is the dragon rollercoaster,” she said, adding her favorite was watching her children enjoy themselves.
Cobler said she liked the fact that the fair was not crowded.
“I like the fact that we didn’t have to wait in long lines, and the food has been good,” she said.
Jeff Nelson, of Patrick Springs, also was glad the fair returned after the pandemic.
“Me and my wife always have a great time here. We really enjoy it. I think it’s probably one of the best fairs around here, and I hope the county continues to do it,” Nelson said, adding that he enjoyed listening to the free music sets and eating the ribeye steak sandwiches.