This past week the citizens of Mecklenburg County and the surrounding areas were treated to the annual arrival of the South Central Fair. The trucks, food vendors, and carnies rolled into Chase City the week of October 8. This year, as all the years before, the rides and amusements were provided by Cole Amusements.
The SCF always brings the official “fall feeling” to the residents who attend. There is nothing that screams fall, like a hot corn dog with mustard, some cotton candy and the sounds of screams and laughter from county kids as they zoom, flip and soar on all the rides. This year was no different and did not disappoint. The fair held a multitude of different exhibits, attractions and events this year. The “Idol” show was a big favorite of fair attendees. The animal exhibit was filled nightly with kids of all ages, petting, feeding and loving on animals of all types, a group of teenagers at the fair said, “The fawn was our favorite, it was so cute and so small! Makes us think different of the deer around our house!” They went on to say that the rides were so different this year and they loved them. One of the fair workers, who was operating a ride said, “I love traveling with Cole Amusements, I get to go into small towns and communities like this for months and seeing the kids having fun makes me happy to do my job and be away from home.” When asked how he felt about the day versus the night at the fair he said, “There’s a huge difference.”
He recounted the traveling fair life as not just a big adventure but a clear view of life all over the country. He went on to explain, “As the fair rolls into to town, there’s an excitement that’s built over the weeks. Prior to arriving in your town, arrows are placed on poles along the way, that’s how we know exactly where to go. On the first day we arrive, people will come and line the fence to watch us unload our wares and set up our rides and booths. They watch everything. Travelers stay on such a tight schedule that it’s nice to see how the citizens of a community are both excited and happy to see us arrive.”
He explained that most all of the barkers, ride attendants and boot attendants that you see at the fair are travelers. They have already been away from whatever their home base is for months at that point. Some leave kids behind and so to have a front row seat to kids who are making memories and loving the fair is a special thing for them. The crowds this year at the South Central Fair were great. There was good attendance every night to both the midway as well as the shows and exhibits. According to a family attending the fair, their favorite part was watching Daddy get a turn at the mechanical bull. Everywhere you went and everything you saw was somebody’s favorite. A group of older folks were sitting at picnic tables just off the midway, eating their dinner and when asked what their thoughts were on the 2019 SCF, they all held up what they were eating and with laughter replied, “The food!” Most of the group agreed that the ‘fair food’ was the best part of the week and one gentleman went further saying, “From my house you can smell the food and it’s like a magnet, you just have to come get some!” He went on to say that the fair has been in Chase City for as long as he could remember and where a lot has changed with it over the years, he still has fond memories of all the years growing up that he would attend with his parents and eventually with his girlfriend, now wife, who laughingly said, “Let’s not talk about the ferris wheel!” and gave a sly wink.