Photo by Joe Bellacomo

Photo by Joe Bellacomo

ALBANY, Ga. -- The 64th annual Exchange Club Fair of Southwest Georgia kicks off Tuesday afternoon with organizers expecting to see between 60,000 and 70,000 people attend over the six days of the event.

Fair Manager Skip Nichols said he expects many new memories to be made this week.

"Everybody has fair memories," Nichols said. "We want people to form their memories in a good, safe, family environment so they'll reflect 50 or 60 years down the road on what fun they had.

"From 2 to 80, we just want everyone to have a good time."

Nichols said the annual fair is "one of the top 10 events to come to Albany, and might be in the top five." He added that "all the money we make we'll put right back into the community through various local charities, community services or maintaining the fairgrounds."

Nichols said that 179 Exchange Club members provide much of the physical labor to get the 100-acre property ready for the fair.

As for the fair itself, the fair association is offering cash prizes for community and school displays and for livestock and agricultural exhibits from more than 30 south Georgia counties.

The livestock exhibits will feature meat goats, lambs, swine and beef cattle.

There will be live local entertainment each night at the Midway Stage, including The Buffalo Barfield Show, Smelvin The Clown and more than 45 rides from The James Strate Shows.

The Fair officially kicks off Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 with opening ceremonies, while carnival and exhibit buildings open at 5. There is a pizza-eating contest at 8 p.m..

On Wednesday, 4-H and FAA Swine shows start at 9 a.m., and the carnival and exhibit buildings open 4 that afternoon.

A Market Goat Show begins at noon Thursday with buildings opening at 3 p.m.

Friday features 4-H and FAA Student Livestock Judging at 9 that morning, followed by a Horticultural Identification Contest and FFA Middle School Lawnmower Competition at 9:30 a.m. Gates open at 3 that afternoon, as does a 4-H and FAA Lamb Show.

Saturday is Fair Appreciation Day and features a Beef and Cattle Show at 9 that morning. The buildings open at noon, and a Demolition Derby will rev up at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, the fair's gates will open at 1 p.m.

Admission to the fair is $5 for each person more than 48 inches tall. Children under 48 inches are admitted at no charge. On Tuesday, all students with a valid ID and a nonperishable food item will be admitted free.

"I highly recommend Saturday night's Demo Derby," Nichols said. "It's our most popular event and draws between 5,000 and 6,000 people each year.

"It's a lot of fun."