Upsized county fair coming back to town in September

LAWRENCEVILLE - Consider this fair warning - literally.

In just less than a month, the Gwinnett County Fair will return, and this year, it's set to be even bigger.

More rides will tempt thrill-seekers when the fair comes to town Sept. 15-25, said fair manager Dale Thurman. That's in addition to the livestock, pageants, vendors, exhibits and food that draw fair-goers year after year.

"It will be a good cross section," Thurman said. "Whatever your taste is, from thrill rides to the merry-go-round."

On Monday through Thursday, $15 plus the cost of admission will let visitors ride all the rides, and it's $12 for those who bring an empty Coke product can.

The fair also will boast more than 20 livestock shows this year, as well as performances from country artists Gene Watson on Sept. 19 and Billy "Crash" Craddock on Sept. 20.

And for those who just aren't satisfied by the vast array of food for sale at the fair, there will be a regional qualifier for the Krystal world hamburger-eating championship Sept. 18, with preliminary rounds set for Sept. 16 and 17.

The fair should draw more than 200,000 people, Thurman said, then added, "if the weather's good."

Last year, the remnants of Hurricane Ivan soaked the fair's opening night, keeping many would-be fair-goers away.

No matter the weather, though, the fair offers plenty to see and do for young and old alike.

"It's a way of getting away, having a day of enjoyment without spending a lot of money," Thurman said. "Ride the rides, eat the food, see what vendors bring out that you might not see somewhere else."