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JIM: A Brief Glimpse of the 1957 Adair County Fair

The Adair County Fair for 1957 was history-making. It was'was the largest in the history of the county as far as spectators and visitors were concerned. And 'Much to the delight of kids (of many ages), the carnival for the 1957 Adair County Fair rolled into town on Sunday, July 28, through the next morning and had been set up and was ready for business before nightfall Monday.' JIM writes, and adds a new factoid: The Miss Adair County Fair Pageant was inaugurated 60 years ago. Miss Adair County Fair that year - can you guess??? - still looks almost exactly like she did in that year. 1957's Adair County Fair had so much: A 1957 Chevrolet was given away - it went to a lucky Russell Countian. But a wonderful Columbian, Mrs. C.H. Sandusky, won a sackful (100) silver dollars. There's loads of answers to questions of great importance to so many of our readers - even though they may not realize it. - CM
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The Fair itself opened On Wednesday, July 31st, for its usual four-day run, and mercy, what a Fair that year! According to an opening-day article in the News, the events (beyond the many horse shows and races) included a muzzle loading shooting contest; the traditional first-day School Program; two dog shows; dairy cattle shows with $1,000 in premiums; and, of course, the always-spectacular displays of fruits, vegetables, canned goods, needlecraft, woodcraft, and the like, all in Floral Hall.

One major attraction, held for the first time ever, was a beauty pageant in which Miss Adair County Fair would be selected from "among Adair County's fairest of the fair."

The free events that year were the LaBlonde Trio (a comedic troupe), performing on the horizontal bar, a show said to be "nothing short of sensational," and Comille's 14 talented dogs, "an acrobatic act that has seldom been equaled."

An earlier announcement stated that a Shetland pony, "gentle as a lamb and just right for younger children, would be raffled off by the Columbia Volunteer Fire Department. Tickets at a quarter apiece or five for a dollar were available from any of the firemen and at Ed's Ky. Auto Store and the News office. Proceeds were for a most worthy cause. The July 17th edition stated of the raffle, "The Fire Department is making a last-ditch effort to save the county fire truck and hopes to raise at least enough for a partial payment on the truck." The choice of prize may have been based in part on the local pony club, started about two months earlier.

An all-too-brief follow up article the week after the Fair noted that it "was the largest in the history of the county as far as spectators and visitors were concerned." As always, hundreds of Adair Countians living "away" heeded the annual siren call and wended their way homeward to partake in some or all of the festivities, and, of course, to meet up with old friends and to get caught up on news and local goings-on.

The article also reported that Ernest Ross of Russell County and Columbia's Mrs. C.H. Sandusky were among the happiest of the Fair-goers, the former winning the 1957 Chevy on Friday night and the latter claiming the "sackful" (one hundred) silver dollars given away on Saturday night..

Meanwhile, joy reigned in Sparksville as Miss Ramona Wheeler, 18-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ottis (Ottie B.) Wheeler of that community, won the tiara in the inaugural Miss Adair County Fair pageant. None of the other contestants were named.

No mention was made either of the winner of the Shetland pony raffle or of the fate of the county fire truck.

This story was posted on 2017-07-09 05:36:54
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