Two-year-old Kenneth Lucas grinned as Chrystal the monkey climbed on his head. And that was only in his first five minutes at the Columbia County Fair, which opened Thursday.
Kenneth, of Virginia, was visiting his grandmother Barbara Johnson, who lives in Harlem. Buckled in his stroller, he squealed and pointed anxiously at the spinning rainbow-colored tents and twinkling lights.
Kenneth and his family were some of the first people through the gate after a ribbon-cutting officially kicked off Columbia County's 38th annual fall fair.
"We are so honored and so glad to be out here," said Jimmy Drew, who helps his son, Jim, run the expo.
Drew Exposition, which provided the midway for the Augusta Exchange Club's fair for decades, moved out to Columbia County this year.
"We are proud to have Jimmy Drew and Jim Drew with Drew Exposition as our fair providers this year," said Mike Zapata, president of the Merchants Association of Columbia County. "They provided the fair in Augusta for 40 years. Their loss is our gain."
Drew's midway is filled with exciting rides such as the Cyclops and Himalaya, and old favorites such as the Ferris wheel and lots of children's rides.
Several free shows will thrill fairgoers, including Dave "The Bullet" Smith, who shoots himself out of a 35-foot cannon over the Cyclops ride; the Fearless Flores motorcycle daredevils; and Rene Regimbal and his motorcycle Wall of Death.
The fair runs through Saturday at the Columbia County fairgrounds on Columbia Road.
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