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Outstanding Fairs Honored at 98th Annual Convention

Feb 10, 2020

Fairs across Tennessee are celebrating the awards received during the Tennessee Association of Fairs (TAF) 98th Annual Convention in Murfreesboro Jan. 16-18.

“For more than 160 years, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture has been promoting agriculture through fairs across our state,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Our abundant food and fiber originate from our farms and forests, and you cannot put a true value on the beauty of our landscape and the quality of life that we all enjoy. Fairs highlight those assets and our rural heritage.”

Nearly 850 attendees witnessed Sevier County Fair receive the top award, The Champion of Champions Fair for 2019. In addition to the top award, 53 other fairs received the Award of Merit based on agriculture, educational value, overall operations, and the promotion of local interest and community spirit.
 In 2019, nearly three million visitors attended county, regional, and state fairs in Tennessee, while enjoying more than 212,000 exhibits. There were more than 76,000 entries in livestock and farm crop contests and other exhibitions. More than 22,000 volunteers made those fairs possible, contributing to $31.5 million in economic impact within the state.

“Agricultural fairs provide good, clean competition, entertainment for all ages, community support, and promote our youth,” Tennessee Association of Fairs President Phil Booher said. “More than 22,000 volunteers are key to that success statewide, representing the spirit of greatness in our Volunteer State.”

The winners of the primary 2019 fair categories include:

Division A
State Champion: White County Fair; 1st Runner-up: Bledsoe County Fair; 2nd Runner-up: Decatur County Fair; Most Improved: Smith County Fair.

Division AA
State Champion: Lauderdale County Fair; 1st Runner-up: Lincoln County Fair; 2nd Runner-up: Middle Tennessee District Fair; Most Improved: Macon County Fair.

Division AAA
State Champion: Putnam County Fair; 1st Runner-up; Anderson County Fair; 2nd Runner-up: Robertson County Fair; Most Improved: Maury County Fair.

Premiere Awards (selected from among previous winners)
Champion of Champions: Warren County Fair; Division AA: Dickson County Fair; Division AAA: Fentress County Fair.

In the regional division, the Appalachian Fair and the Tennessee Valley Fair received the Award of Merit. In the state division, the Tennessee State Fair received the Award of Merit based on overall fair operations. Other 2019 honorees included Betty Maness of the Decatur County Fair, who received the Judy Basse Memorial Award for outstanding fair secretary, and Bill Phillips of the Middle Tennessee District Fair, who received the Thornton Taylor Award for outstanding dedication to the fair programs in Tennessee.

The statewide fair showcase offered prize money and awards in 40 categories including best fair catalog, website and educational displays, promotional videos, posters, scrapbooks, creative ideas, and free-standing and table-top exhibits. In its 22nd year, the competition drew 545 entries from 42 fairs.
 
For more information, visit www.tnfairs.com
 


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