Georgia National Fair opens - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia National Fair opens

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

PERRY, GA (WALB) – It was quiet Thursday morning at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry.  But if you listen carefully, something is definitely happening.  It's the talk of man and beast alike.

Michele Treptow of the Georgia National Fair tells us what it is: "this is the 21st Georgia National Fair."

The Fair may not be as old as some of its counterparts in other states, but it's catching up to the others fast, adding new attractions and facilities to handle the hundreds of thousands who rumble through the turnstiles each year. 

"We've created a South Gate.  Last year, we expanded towards the east built a new east gate and new equine arena," said Treptow.

And there are still some of the same things here that you can find at other fairs.  After all what would a fair be without rides, games and food.  Fried food.

There are fried Oreos and Twinkies, even fried dough.  But one of the hottest items at this fair comes to Perry straight from America's Dairyland.

Randy Reichart tells us what it is.

"I'm introducing fresh fried cheese to the Georgians," he said.

This is Reichart's 6th year at the fair and there was some resistance to his product at first.

He said that people would ask him:  "fried cheese?!?  What's fried cheese?"

But as time has gone on the locals have gotten used to his product, and he's found that they've learned a little bit about Wisconsin culture.

"They come up to the trailer and say 'I want the mozzarella' instead of 'what is the mozzarella?'," he said.

But the fair is about more than rides, games and food.  It's also about highlighting the best of Georgia's agricultural industry.  It's part of the mission of the event itself.

Treptow said that the fair was, "a place for agri-business to show and sell, a place for Georgia's youth to show, learn and compete."

So while you're having fun on the Ferris Wheel, the fair will be busy promoting the state.  After all visitors come to the fair from places other than Georgia.

"(A) lot of people from Florida, Alabama.  You know, all the surrounding states," said Treptow.

And the organizers are hoping that the people who come here will see the state in a good light.

The fair runs through the 17th.

For a full list of events at this year's fair, you can go to their website.

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