Georgia National Fair time -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia National Fair time

October 2, 2002

Perry-- Getting ready for Georgia's biggest fair takes a lot of work. The sounds of drills, hammers, and metal hitting metal all part of the average day at the fairgrounds just about 48 hours before things get cranked up at the Georgia National Fair.

"A lot of behind the scenes people don't get to see," ride owner, Rick Reithoffer, said.

Things like putting together the 65 rides along the Midway of the Georgia National Fair, in many cases piece by piece.

"This is a process we go through on a daily basis," Reithoffer said.

Then there's the crowd favorite the carousel, horses unloaded one by one off the truck and attached to their harnesses.

"This goes on for four or five days," Reithoffer said.

Of course one of the main things they do in preparation for the fair this week are test runs. All over the fairgrounds other workers are busy as well, stocking the games with prizes, washing down the nearly 250 concession stands, and setting up more than 2,500 exhibits.

"We make sure they all look pretty so people come ride the rides, and eat the food, what makes fairs one of most popular forms of entertainment we have today."

Then when it's all over and the 12,000 animal leaves the fairgrounds what's left to do but clean up? "Immediately when fair closes start, we start looking at plans for next year," Michael Froelich said.

The fairgrounds have been transformed into a carnival atmosphere, but the fair is having a big impact on the rest of Perry and much of Georgia as well. Many hotels in the region are already booked for the remainder of the fair, and restaurants and gas stations are gearing up for a lot more business. It's also good news for Georgians looking for part time work.

"We employ 400 part time workers, everything from additional security personal, to ticket takers, ushers, and hostesses," Froelich said.

The overall economic impact of the fair is estimated at $20 million.

If you are headed to the Georgia National Fair , or heading along the northern stretch of I-75 anytime in the next ten days, one thing you should expect are traffic delays.

But State Troopers are hoping things will be better than years past because some construction in the area has been completed. You are encouraged to take exit 134, the South Perry Parkway, which has been widened to four lanes, has no traffic lights, and longer exit ramps.

State Troopers from as far away as Valdosta are being called in to try to help manage the traffic.

Opening ceremonies for the fair will be Friday at 4. It will then run through the following weekend, October 13th. Tickets are $6.


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