The Georgia National Fair is back in Perry. Before you make the drive into the fairgrounds, check out this list of the top things to do while you’re there.
1. Fireworks show
How often do you get to sit and watch the fireworks? No, not the ones that your neighbor randomly shoots off in the middle of August for no apparent reason. The ones that actually look cool and give you a chance to relax after a long day of eating random fried foods, playing games for prizes and riding all those rides on the midway.
2. Eudora Farms Petting Zoo
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What is better than seeing exotic animals up close? Petting them. This attraction is one for the kids from 8 months to 80 years. Eudora Farms brings in over 55 types of animals from four different continents. Guests can also purchase feed for the animals.
3. The Ninja Experience
American Ninja Warrior has taken social media by storm. It’s hard to scroll through your news feed without finding at least one highlight reel of someone hanging on to some ring or bar. We even have a local Middle Georgia resident who competed on the TV show. Now you get a chance to experience the thrill at the fair this year. They will be doing live shows with a chance to get autographs and photos after the show.
4. Live Shark Encounter
“Jaws,” “The Meg,” “Finding Nemo” and “Sharknado” all show a clear obsession that people have with the world’s greatest predator. Normally, you can see these creatures in movies or during Shark Week, but over the next 11 days, it will be just a short drive to see them in person. This year the fair is offering a live shark encounter where people can learn more about sharks. Just don’t get too close, or you might be saying, “We are going to need a bigger boat.”
5. Sesame Street Live C is for Celebration
This is another live show but more geared toward the family. All your favorite characters from Sesame Street have arrived in Perry to put on a couple shows on Oct. 7. The first show starts at 2 p.m. and another one at 5 p.m. This is a chance to cool down inside Reaves Arena. The show lasts about 45 minutes, so it gives you a break off your feet for a bit. This is a free event.
6. Free concert series
While there are a couple great paid shows this year inside Reaves Arena, don’t discount the free one outside. At 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 10, Peabo Bryson will hit the stage. He is best known for his song with Celine Dion, “Beauty and the Beast,” from the hit Disney movie. If you’re more of a fan of country music, the trio of Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye will perform on the following night at the same time. At 7 p.m. Sunday, Southside Baptist Church will perform a free concert. This will be a good chance to see some local musicians in action.
However, if you don’t mind spending a little extra cash, the fair is offering two concerts at $40 a ticket. Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels and The Outlaws will be featured in the “Southern Uprising: a Southern Rock Revival” show Oct. 13 while the “I Love the 90’s Tour” Saturday will feature Salt-N-Pepa and Vanilla Ice with Special Guests: All-4-One, Young MC and Tone Loc
7. The food
If events, concerts and rides aren’t your thing, then there is really only one thing left at the fair for you: food. Make this an epic cheat day and ignore those calories as the fair only comes around once a year. The food at the fair is not something you can get every day. Though for many years I have watched people eat Chick-fil-A at the fair and been a bit puzzled, this is a chance for you to go out on a limb and try something new. A few foods that might be worth trying for the more adventurous eater are fried Oreos or deep-fried candy bars.
This is a chance to see some livestock and what some of our local FFA programs are doing in regard to agriculture and livestock. The barns always seem to have people passing through them and are one of the more popular attractions at the fair. With it still being summer weather in the fall, this is a good location to grab some shade too. You may also catch a cow giving birth at the Baby Barn.
9. The rides
We couldn’t ignore the main attraction. The fair offers rides for all ages. There are rides for the adrenaline junkies and for those who just want to make sure that fried cheese doesn’t come back up. Now rides aren’t for everyone, but this is a once a year chance to get on rides without having to drive to Atlanta or Orlando, Florida. You can get a great view of the entire fair from the Ferris wheel. For those who do love the rides, the fair also offers armband days. The armbands allow you to ride every ride as many times as you like except: Speed, the Agri-lift, Euro Slide, Mega Mile, non-mechanical rides and the paddle boats.
10. Take in the atmosphere.
For the next 11 days the fair will invade Perry. It will be gone before you know it. The atmosphere at the fair is second to none around Middle Georgia. Go out and enjoy a day or two while it last. Eat a funnel cake. Jump on a ride you have never tried before. Watch a show. Listen to your favorite artist take one of the stages. Spend time with the people you love or enjoy a getaway for one. So sit back, smell the corn dogs and have fun at the fair.