As long as the rain stays away, the Columbia County Exchange Club promises a great spring fair.
"No. 1 for this year's fair, the Columbia County Exchange Club has built it around families trying to make it fun for the whole family," said club president Bryan Evans.
The fair kicks off Thursday at the Columbia County fairgrounds on Columbia Road, with the midway rides and games provided by Amusements of America.
The club has arranged nightly specials and several special events, including twice-nightly performances of the Comedy Safari Show - starring Mark Preston, his tropical parrots and lots of audience participation.
"It is funny," Evans said of the show.
Bird Youmans, a second-year performer at the fair, will sing bluegrass-flavored old-time gospel favorites on Sunday and Monday.
The fair continues its support of Child Enrichment Inc. Shelter and Child Advocacy Center with Cookin' for Kids wild game cook-off Saturday, April 19 - the fair's last day - from noon to 5 p.m. Volunteer cooking teams will pass out free samples of wild game while children can hunt for Easter eggs, have a photo taken with the Easter Bunny, get their face painted or get a balloon animal, and participate in craft projects.
Proceeds from the fair - not just the cook-off - benefit the center, which is a nonprofit organization that helps law enforcement and social service agencies care for abused or neglected children, provides forensic services for abuse cases and maintains a counseling program for sexual assault victims.
"All the money we raise is basically going to the shelter for abused children," Evans said.
With tremendous community support, Evans only hopes for sunny weather.
"I think it will be a lot of fun."
The Columbia County Exchange Club Fair
When: Thursday, April 10, through Saturday, April 19
Where: Columbia County fairgrounds on Columbia Road across from Patriots Park.
Admission: $5 general admission; $10 unlimited ride pass (Monday through Thursday); $12 unlimited ride pass (Friday through Sunday)
Columbia County Exchange Club Fair daily schedule:
Thursday, April 10: Noon to 11 p.m. Kids Day. The first 750 kids get a free Checkers hotdog, chips and drink.
Friday, April 11: 2 p.m. to midnight. Teen Night. Battle of the Bands.
Saturday, April 12: Noon to midnight. Show a new or old Mastersticket for $1 off admission.
Sunday, April 13: 1 to 10 p.m. Morningside Assisted Living and Seniors Day. Bring a church bulletin for $1 off admission.
Monday, April 14: 4 to 11 p.m. Pepsi Family Night. Get one free 12-and-under child admission with each full price parent admission.
Tuesday, April 15: 4 to 11 p.m. Show a military ID or public safety ID for $1 off admission.
Wednesday, April 16: 4 to 11 p.m. Feed the Hungry Night. Bring a canned food item for the Golden Harvest Food Bank for $1 off admission.
Thursday, April 17: 4 to 11 p.m. Putt Putt Golf Day. Everyone receives a free game of golf at Putt Put Golf and Games with fair admission.
Friday, April 18: 4 p.m. to midnight. Teen Night. Battle of the Bands finale.
Saturday, April 19: Noon to midnight. Cookin' for Kids between noon and 5 p.m., the first 500 kids get a home-cooked hotdog and drink.
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