It’s here! The most exciting week (actually nine days) of the year in Warren County has arrived.
As a boy born and raised in Warren County, the fair has always held a special place in my heart. I always thought that each county held its fair. It’s only in the past few years that I’ve learned just how special the Warren County A&L Fair truly is. I’ve heard many people from surrounding counties say they don’t visit their own fair, but make it a point to never miss the one in Warren County. Part of the credit goes to our fair’s status as one of the few, if not the only, free fair in Tennessee. Another big part of the credit goes to the tireless efforts of the fair’s board of directors and other volunteers. To borrow a phrase from the Southeastern Conference, when it comes to Warren County and the Fair, “it just means more.”
Another thing that works in our favor is the timing of our fair. The second full week of September is the perfect time of year for an outdoor community event. You can almost always count on starting the fair week in shorts, a t-shirt and a tracksuit. As Saturday night closes, many jackets come out of the closet for the first time in months.
During our first year together, my wife Ashley and I discovered that the Warren County A&L Fair is one of the few things we all love on the same level – and that level is high. You can find us there at least once a day and we eat pretty much every meal at the fair that week.
Over the years we have made the inevitable transition from seeing the rides as the main attraction to focusing on the food and seeing and talking to people as the main reason to go. You can always expect to see many friends there, perhaps for the first time since last year’s fair.
And there’s definitely plenty to eat and plenty of great local organizations to support with your food purchase. Ashley and I make it a point to eat at every local stand during the week. She even became locally famous on Facebook with her #Ashleyeatsthefair posts. Many people told her that they depended on her posts to help them decide where and what to eat at the fair.
I asked her why she thought anyone would care what she ate at the fair until I personally experienced the power of the hashtag. I am a creature of habit and very comfortable falling into a rut. As such, my standard fair fare is usually two corn dogs and a Sun-Drop. For fun, she started tracking my corn dog consumption with a #corndogcount on her posts. Since it started, I’ve barely made a trip to the fair without someone asking me (often someone I don’t know) “how much does the corn dog count?”
So, if I haven’t already made it clear, I really like the fair. And if you happen to see me there, say “hello” and don’t hesitate to ask what the corn dog counts. I got used to it.
Seth Wright can be reached at (931) 473-2191