The Columbia County Fairgrounds came to life Thursday as the annual county fair began its 10-day run.
Excited families gathered in front of the gates more than an hour before the fair opened.
“I’m excited,” Columbia County Merchants Asso-ciation President Richard Fender said before the opening. “I couldn’t hardly sleep last night to tell you the truth.”
The 48th annual fair is the largest fundraiser for the Merchants Association, which dispersed $18,000 to area charities – including the American Red Cross, Camp Rainbow, Easter Seals, Project Wish, Columbia County Cares and Martinez-Evans Little League – at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Earlier in the year, the Merchants gave $12,500 in scholarships to Columbia County students.
“More charities, more money,” Fender said of his hopes to raise even more money for the charities. “I’d live to see it next year.”
Fender said the fair is only one of the many ways the Merchants contribute to the community.
The fair runs daily through Nov. 9 at the fairgrounds on Columbia Road across from Patriots Park.
For more information, visit www.columbiacountyfair.net.