Georgians across the state are cheering as they hear that the Sunbelt Ag Expo and Georgia National Fair are making plans to hold their annual shows this year. Both shows were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 Georgia National Fair is scheduled for Oct. 7-17 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, the fair announced March 2 on its Facebook page. Sunbelt Ag Expo officials confirmed April 14 that plans are underway to hold the 2021 Sunbelt Expo Oct. 19-21 at Spence Field in Moultrie.
“As people continue to get their COVID vaccines and as long as people use common sense in abiding by CDC protocols, we’re ready to move forward in October with a great in-person show. Our exhibitors and attendees are ready for an in-person show,” Sunbelt Expo Executive Director Chip Blalock said. “Sunbelt Expo will abide by whatever COVID protocols are in place in October to protect our exhibitors and visitors’ health. We’re excited to be planning for a show that we’re pretty sure is going to happen as opposed to last year when we didn’t know how the pandemic would affect us.”
Attendance at the 30th Annual Georgia National Fair in 2019 totaled 565,533 over the event’s 11-day run. The 2019 event set a new overall attendance record for the fair, which was a 5% increase over the previous record of 536,840 attendees in 2016. The 2019 Georgia National Fair also set a single-day attendance record on Oct. 12, 2019, with 96,910 visitors.
The fair strives to make each year’s experience new for visitors by adding new attractions or shows. The Georgia Grown Birthing Barn – where fair goers can watch live births of dairy calves and see newborn piglets nursing their mothers – has been a big hit since 2018.
Sunbelt Expo, long called “North America’s Premier Farm Show” every year attracts more than 1,200 exhibitors, who display the newest farm equipment and ag products on 100 acres of exhibit space. The 44-year-old event draws attendees from across the U.S., and an Expo Farmer of the Year is selected each year from 10 Southeastern states ranging from Arkansas to Louisiana over to Virginia and down to Florida.
May Days on the Midway
If you can’t wait until October to get your fair fix, make plans to attend the May Days on the Midway the Georgia National Fairgrounds is holding Thursday, May 20 – Monday, May 31. This event will offer attendees all of the best carnival rides, games and food usually found on the Georgia National Fair Midway. Admission and parking will be FREE to everyone.
The Georgia National Fair is taking pre-orders for ride armband sales until 4 p.m. May 7, Mondays through Fridays only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No orders will be taken after 4 p.m. on May 7. Pre-ordered ride armbands cost $25 – a $5 savings if purchased armbands are used on weekends or on Memorial Day.
Armband vouchers will be redeemed on the carnival midway on whichever day visitors choose to go. Armbands allow wearers to ride all rides as many times as they would like for the day the armband was purchased.
Pre-orders for ride armbands will only be taken over the phone. CREDIT/DEBIT CARD purchases only! NO REFUNDS or EXCHANGES will be allowed or granted once pre-ordered armbands are purchased. No rainy-day refunds allowed. All pre-orders will be mailed to the purchaser once order has been made and payment received. NO PICK UP or WILL CALL will be allowed. Call 478-988-6483 or 478-988-6484 to buy pre-order armbands.
May Midway attendees may buy individual ride tickets the day they attend.
Expo Field Day set for July
Sunbelt Expo will hold its 2021 Expo Field Day on July 22 beginning at 8 a.m. The drive-thru format Expo held last year was such a success that Expo plans to use this format again this year, Blalock said.
Information from Georgia Farm Bureau.