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Exchange Club Fair returns

Ramon Batres replaces light bulbs in the Musik-Express ride in preparation for opening day last year. The Exchange Club Fair runs Nov. 1-6, located on Westover Blvd. and Oakridge Dr.

Ramon Batres replaces light bulbs in the Musik-Express ride in preparation for opening day last year. The Exchange Club Fair runs Nov. 1-6, located on Westover Blvd. and Oakridge Dr.

— Organizers say they expect a turnout in the tens of thousands next week for the 65th annual Exchange Club Fair of Southwest Georgia.

According to Fair Manager Skip Nichols, there is something for “just about everyone” at the fair, which opens Tuesday and continues through Nov. 6.

“We have live music for every taste,” Nichols said. “In addition, we’ll have a variety of bands, drama groups, cloggers, karaoke performers and more. Of course we’ll have great food and midway rides.”

Popular entertainer Buffalo Barfield will be back again, Nichols said, performing his vocal act with his wife, Michele. Nichols described Barfield as a “country” kind of singer whose act appeals to children and adults alike. The Barfields hail from Possum Hollow, N.C., Nichols said.

Especially for the children is the return of Eudora’s Exotic Petting Zoo, where there is an unusual kind of cow, according to Nichols.

“It’s a different breed of cow than we’re used to seeing. It’s from England,” Nichols said, “and it’s really woolly, like a sheep.”

One of Nichols’ personal favorites, he said, is the demolition derby, which is returning to the fair for the 16th time.

“There’s a 30-car field this year, sponsored by Budwiser,” Nichols said, “with $4,500 in cash and prizes. The big winner gets $1,500.”

Nichols said that the money earned from the fair finds its way back into the community through various charities, community services or maintaining the fairgrounds.

The fair opens at 5 p.m. Tuesday, with parking starting at 4 p.m. Admission to the fair is $5, including parking. Children under 48 inches tall are admitted free, said Nichols. On Tuesday, students with a valid ID card and a non-perishable food item will be admitted free from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Attractions available through the week include the Buffalo Barfield Show; Eudora’s Exotic Petting Zoo; Rust &Flame Blacksmith demonstration; gospel music; entertainment by the Mallory Baptist Association, and the Belmont Magic & Illusion shows, Nichols said.

According to Fair officials, the following are the opening times for the fair and parking lot for Nov. 2-6.

— Nov. 1, gates will open at 5 p.m, and parking lot at 4 p.m. With a coupon from a Harvey’s Supermarket, an unlimited ride ticket is $15.

— Nov. 2 and 3, the fair will open at 4 p.m and the parking lot at 3:30 p.m. With a coupon from McDonald’s restaurants, an unlimited ride ticket is $15. There is a swine show on Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. A goat show is planned at noon on Nov. 3.

— Nov. 4, gates open at 3 p.m. and parking lot at 2:30 p.m. There is an FFA Middle School lawnmower competition and a horticulture identification contest, both at 9 a.m. A lamb show is scheduled at 3 p.m.

— Nov. 5, gates open at noon and parking lot at 11:30 a.m. There is a beef cattle show at 9 a.m., with the demolition derby beginning at 7:30 p.m.

— Nov. 6, Fair open at 1 p.m. and parking lot at 12:30 p.m.