Spartansburg Fair stays with the old, brings in some new - Titusville Herald: News

Spartansburg Fair stays with the old, brings in some new

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Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2018 5:00 am

This year’s Spartansburg Fair, which kicks off Sunday, will feature a mix of familiar contests and new attractions as the annual event nears its 100th year.

“We’re having helicopter rides, for one thing,” Fair Board President Harry Hays, an example of just one of the many new features for the 97th rendition of the fair.

Fair goers will get the chance, for a fee, to ride in a helicopter in the skies above Spartansburg and Clear Lake on Sept. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the very last day of the fair. However, there will be plenty of other new features throughout the week-long celebration to keep guests entertained until then.

The fair will be running contests all through the fair using various “selfie stations” positioned at many locations on the fair grounds. The fair will post rules on their Facebook page on each day, with requirements like taking selfies at a certain station or at a specific number of stations.

An old competition will be making its return this year, as the Rabbit and Cavy dress-up contest will jump back onto the fair grounds with some altered rules.

According to Fair Board Secretary Connie Sitterly, the contest previously involved one judge picking a winner. Due to declining interest, the competition was halted a few years ago, but is being brought back with a more popular way of picking the winner.

Contestants can enter photos of their dressed-up rabbit or cavy, which will be posted in the rabbit barn. Fair visitors will then be able to vote for their favorite costumed critter.

Speaking of contests, the fruits and vegetables judging will have a few more entries for 2018, as a new category has been added. Edible nuts, which covers snacks such as pecans and walnuts, will be displayed at the Home Show 1 building.

Younger demolition derby fans will get the chance to have their own smash up on Sept. 8, as a kids demolition derby will be held before the main yearly derby. Any area kid can participate, so long as they bring their own Power Wheels kart to ride in.

However, even with all the new sights and sounds, the fair will still feel familiar to long time comers, especially in regards to the many farm shows.

A Veterans and Active Military Day has been added to the fair’s roster. On Sept. 6, anyone with a valid military ID will gain free entry into the fair grounds in recognition of their service.

“We have changed a whole lot this year,” Sitterly said of the contests. “Most of the entries are still the same.”

Cows, ponies, sheep and more will be showed off at the various fair barns, with many chances for local agrarian enthusiasts to take home coveted blue ribbons.

While unsure of the exact numbers of entires for all contests, Sitterly was able to tell the Herald that the Spartansburg Fair will have around 120 horses featured this year, 20 of which are draft horses.

The crowning of the Fair Queen and Princess will make its return on Monday, though with a new twist. A new category, called Jr. Miss, has been added to the pageant for girls ages 11-15. Sitterly said the new category is a way to keep girls involved in the fair when they’re in the age gap between the Princess and Queen categories.

But, whether it’s something old or something new that brings people to the fair, Sitterly said the week-long festival is like “a giant family reunion” for Spartansburg, a reunion which has managed to endure for nearly a century.

“When you’ve invested that kind of effort and caring into something like that, it keeps it going,” Sitterly said.

Ray can be reached, by email, at

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