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Colfax Free Fair, school carnival opens Tuesday

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More than 90 years ago the Colfax Free Fair in Ellenboro began at the school grounds of Hollis Road in Ellenboro in order for farmers to have a venue to display their summer crops and other wares.

Next Tuesday, Sept. 20, the 2022 edition of the Colfax Free Fair/Ellenboro School Carnival begins, still at the same school grounds where it started and still free to allow all school students and the community the opportunity to attend.

The fair opens Tuesday, Sept. 20 and runs through Saturday, Sept. 24 at the old school grounds in Ellenboro with plenty of "good wholesome family fun," said Carole McDaniel, exhibit hall coordinator.

No carnival rides will be available on Tuesday, but there will be plenty of food, games, Bingo and exhibits on Tuesday, said Ellenboro principal Kyla Bumgarner. The fair opens Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. and on Friday at 5 p.m. Saturday the fair opens at 1 p.m.

B.K. Carnival will be on the midway from Wednesday until closing Saturday evening with plenty of exciting rides for children, youth and adults.

"New this year is the Family Night on Wednesday," said Bumgarner. For $20 people can buy an armband and ride all they want until the fair closes Wednesday evening on the new designated Family Night. Armbands will also be available on Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The popular exhibit hall is returning this year in the old gymnasium and people are encouraged to bring their homemade goods, crafts, home grown vegetables, canned goods and baked goods to the gymnasium on Monday, September 19. The exhibit hall opens to the public on Tuesday evening.

McDaniel, who is a judge for the Mountain State Fair exhibits at the WNC Ag Center, is hoping there will be plenty of entries in Ellenboro

"It seems the numbers were off in Asheville, but we hope we won't be," she said.

Children from ages 5 to 18 may enter a number of categories and adults from ages 19 and up may also enter.

Premium books are available at Mooneyham Public Library, the Spindale Public Library and at Enchanted Boutique in Forest City as well as Town Hall in Ellenboro.

McDaniel also encourages people to enter the car and truck show on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. There is no entry fee.

Also Saturday farm machinery will be on display on the grounds.

The Golden Valley Crusaders will present a free concert of gospel music at 5 p.m. Saturday and again at 6:30 p.m.

Ellenboro School will operate its popular concession stand selling its famous hamburgers, hotdogs and fries and other fair food. School staff, teachers, administrators and other volunteers will operate the concession stand each day.

Throughout the fairgrounds other food vendors will offer a variety of food, beverages and desserts.

The school will also offer Bingo games under the big tent, as always with plenty of prizes.

Vendors will occupy the fairground space selling wares, food, corn-on-the cob and other popular items.

There will also be educational booths.

The fair will feature the children's area with family-friendly rides for the younger children. The older youth and children will enjoy other rides.

As always the Colfax Free Fair/Ellenboro School Carnival is a time to gather with old friends to catch up on town news and the happenings since the last fair crowd gathered in September to remember the days gone by.

This is the school's primary fundraiser of the year, Bumgarner said.

For more information regarding entries for the exhibit hall or car show, email McDaniel at: dover.principal@gmail.com

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