Exchange Club fair starts Tuesday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Exchange Club fair starts Tuesday

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October 31, 2005

Albany- It's the only place you can get a fried pickle on a stick and see a nine foot ostrich. The fair raises tens of thousands of dollars for Exchange Club charities each year.

And people come for across southwest Georgia to enjoy the rides, animal competitions, and of course, the food! There are balloon toys to blow up, prizes to be hung, and food to be made before the 59th annual Exchange Club Fair opens Tuesday night.

"We serve pizza, pickles on a stick, nachos with cheese and chili, mozzarella sticks," says a food vendor.

It takes a team of workers with Strates Amusements just a few days to set up the 45 fair rides, exhibits, and food vendors. "We scrub the outside of the trailer first, then we put the awnings up, then we clean the inside from top to bottom." says s fair worker.

For them, it's a life of hard work and travel. "Do you like this life going from city to city? Yes, you meet different people, different cultures."

For the thousands of folks who'll come out to the fair, it's all about having fun.  "You're as young as you feel. We have some people here at 80 and 90 years old riding these rides with a big smile on their faces. It's not just for the young kids, it's for the young at heart," says Skip Nichols of the Exchange Club.

If the thought of spinning and flipping on the fair rides leaves you feeling a little woozy, maybe the animal exhibits and competitions are more your speed.

Students from across southwest Georgia will show off their prize hogs, cows, sheep and goats. "We give away quite a bit of money right here each year. We encourage the kids to take it home, put it in the banks, and use it to go to college," says the Exchange Club's Butch Griffin.

And each ticket you buy helps the Exchange Club do good works in the community. "We gave back to the community $65,000 to $70,000 last year," said Nichols.

So come out with a full wallet and an empty stomach and enjoy the rides and the food of the fair.

The fair opens Tuesday at 2:30, and then at 3:00 Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Friday it opens at 2:00, and Saturday at noon. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, you can buy a wrist band at Harvey's and McDonald's for $12 and ride all the rides you want.

Admission is $5.00, children under 48 inches tall get in free.

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