'Fair Fever' hits Georgia, Agricenter prepares for crowds, concerts, carnival

Since school has recently begun, you may still be running on the energy you stored up over the summer, but this won’t last long. By the time October rolls around, every college student gets the feeling that it is time for a nice little break.
The Georgia National Fair in Perry, Ga. could be just the place for you to escape the piles of Chemistry homework you have accumulated, your annoying hall mates and cafeteria food.
Exciting rides, delicious food and plenty of entertainment make the Georgia National Fair a great getaway. It will be open Oct. 6-16 this year.
So, even if you are a member of every club on campus and are taking 18 hours of classes, certainly you can manage to squeeze one night of fun somewhere in that 10-day span.
The fairgrounds in Perry are only about a 35 minute drive from Mercer, and believe me, it is worth the drive. It’s hard to miss the fairgrounds once the fair is set up – you can see all the rides, including the huge Ferris wheel, from the road.
It will be a busy week and a half in Perry, with the gates opening at 8 a.m. every day, except Oct. 6 when they open at 3 p.m., and closing at 10 p.m. each night. From Oct. 7-16, there is an entrance fee of $8 for adults, $7 each for groups, and free for children under 10 – with paying adults.
Michele Trepto, Director of Communications, believes that the Georgia National Fair is something to always be remembered. “The Georgia National Fair is definitely a sensory experience. You can see it, taste it, and touch it. This is the great thing about the fair – it is different for everyone. The fair can be fun for all, young or old,” she said.
If you are there for the displays and entertainment, there are over 30 acts and quite a few display areas. If you go for the tasty food, the fair is full of food vendors (and funnel cake!). If you enjoy the thrilling rides, you have plenty to choose from. And if you are one of those people who would like to participate in all of these, you should probably get to the fair around 8 a.m. and plan out your day accordingly.
The first thing you should do when you get to the fair is check out what shows are going on. Entertainment is rampant at the fair, so you are most likely to stumble upon a show even if you weren’t looking for one.
The fair has your standard entertainment, such as a comedian, a magician, a keyboard player, a petting zoo and a fireworks show at night. These are all fun and exciting.
However, there are even more fascinating shows you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere outside of the Georgia National Fair, like the Big Bear Show, Sea Lion Splash, Middle Earth Storytellers, and Mutton Bustin’ (the sheep rodeo.) There is no excuse not to enjoy one of these unique shows, since they are free.
If somehow you still haven’t found a show you would enjoy, maybe you would be interested in the Blake Shelton concert happening on October 8 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. or the Georgia Jam on October 15, featuring Colt Ford, Corey Smith and Rehab.
Tickets for the Blake Shelton concert are $30 and the Georgia Jam is $25 per ticket. Students can visit http://www.georgianationalfair.com/get-tickets/ to purchase in advance.
Another great part of the fair is the wide variety of foods, drinks, and treats to choose from. Among the many restaurants and booths, including the McGill Marketplace and the Georgia Building, there are such tasty items as barbeque sandwiches, cotton candy, corn dogs, turkey legs, candied apples, slushes and ears of corn.
It may not be the most healthy food on the planet, but it is so hard to pass it up after smelling it all day. The food and drinks are yummy, but if you are cheap or broke, you could always stop by the barn full of cows and grab a free milk.
There is another form of entertainment, which is a little more hands-on and might even be the most popular thing at the fair – the rides. There are rides that spin and twirl and go up and down very quickly. But most importantly, there is a new ride called The Stinger, which should be scoped out and ridden.
If you go on a regular day, you can get 18 tickets for $10, but on an armband day (Oct 10-13, 16) you can get unlimited riding from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. for only $16. I would recommend going on an armband day in order to get a more enjoyable riding experience for your money.
It only comes once a year, and since the Georgia State Fair is not coming to Macon this year, you can easily find your fair entertainment only a few miles away. Just remember, for the sake of everyone at the fair, try not to eat right before you get on a ride – “fair fever” is not a literal term!