The local carnival company that provided rides for the Augusta fair since 1956 will bring its talents to this year's Columbia County fall fair.
The Merchants Association of Columbia County had been using Amusements of Buffalo Inc. to provide fair entertainment, but the company backed out of future fairs after the last September-October event, said Mike Zapata, the 2003 association president.
"Amusements of Buffalo kind of left us high and dry," Zapata said. "They did not even tell us, 'Hi,' 'Bye,' 'Thank you,' or anything. They did not schedule (for 2003) and they did not tell us they did not want to schedule. They did not say anything."
Because Drew Exposition is no longer under contract with the Augusta Exchange Club for its fall fair, the Columbia County association recruited the longtime show company for the fair scheduled for Oct. 30 through Nov. 8 at the Columbia County fairgrounds on Columbia Road.
"We are going to turn it up a bunch of notches," said Jimmy Drew, the owner of Drew Exposition. "What you saw downtown is what you are going to get in Columbia County. We are very excited about Columbia County and we are going to do our part and put the right level of fairgrounds horsepower behind this fair to make it good. We are real excited."
The exposition provides about 30 shows a year around the east. Drew has serviced the Great Wabash County Fair, Wabash County, Ind., since 1953 and the Mountain Festival in Bluefield, W.Va., since 1951. All are like going home and being with friends, Drew said, but, he admits there is something special about actually being at home and providing amusements for the Columbia County residents who might not travel to downtown Augusta for the fair.
Drew has been contacted by a representative of Columbia County about the fair almost every year. But the exposition has been loyal to the Augusta fair. Free from the contract with the Augusta Exchange Club, Drew is excited to set up in Columbia County.
"This is our hometown and we love our hometown," Drew said. "We want to be a part of our hometown community."
Zapata knows the fair will be a huge change and much larger than anything before it.
"It is going to be a real nice, good fair this year," Zapata said.
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