Happenings

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2019 Georgia National Fair

The Georgia National Fair opens its gates Thursday, and there will be plenty of activities to keep visitors busy every day for the next week.

Here is everything you could possibly need to know about the fair (and if we missed something, email jeason@macon.com!).

Dates and Times

The Georgia National Fair opens on Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. Following opening day, gates open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m., according to the Georgia National Fair website. The final day of the fair is Oct. 13.

Food and outside vendors are available from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The McGill Marketplace, a premier location for trade shows, is open from 12-10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, according to the website.

The Georgia Grown Building, Heritage Hall and Miller-Murphy-Howard buildings are open from 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

The midway is open from 12-10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, according to the website.

Ticket Prices

Tickets cost $10 for ages 11 and up and $8 for people ages 60 and up, according to the website. Children under the age 11 get free admission.

A season pass is $65 and a two-day pass is $16.

Special nights/offers

The Georgia National Fair will feature six different special admission and discount days during the duration of the fair.

Oct. 3, Sneak-A-Peek Day: Admission tickets for adults and senior citizens (60 and up) will cost just $6 and children 10 and under are free with a paying adult. The gates and rides open at 3 p.m. and close at 10 p.m. The armbands for the rides are $20.

Oct. 7, Patriotic Day: Active, retired, reserves and veterans will all be granted free entry with an ID card along with their immediate family. The armbands will cost $20 on this day. The gates open at 8 a.m. with rides opening at noon and a 10 p.m. closing time.

Oct. 8, Terrific Tuesday and Oct. 9, WOW! Wednesday: Each day will feature discount adult tickets at $8 per person and $20 armbands. On Wednesday, the senior citizen tickets will also be discounted at $6 per person.

Oct. 10, College Day: For college students on a budget, half-priced tickets will be available with a valid student ID. The armbands will be discounted at $20 a piece.

Oct. 13, Last Blast Day: $30 arm bands with rides opening two hours early at 10 a.m.

Parking

The main parking for the fair surrounds the North Gate and West Gate entrances. Parking will also be available at the South Gate and East Gate entrances. Handicapped parking is located to the right of the North Gate entrance.

Tips and Tricks

Save money by attending the fair on special discount days. You could possibly get into the fair for less money and buy ride armbands at a discount, and every discount day has a free outdoor concert.

Go to the fair either mid-morning or mid-afternoon. You can avoid buying a full meal and just purchase delectable snacks such as a funnel cake for the family or cotton candy.

Keep a handkerchief in your pocket. It sounds weird, but this is Georgia. It’s going to be hot. Having a handkerchief at the least will allow you some relief from the Georgia heat.

Don’t avoid the exhibits inside! People typically spend their time at the fair on rides and walking around in the heat. The Georgia National Fair has several activities that go on in buildings, and guess what? They are air conditioned!

Weather

It will be hot! The high for the fair’s opening day is 96 degrees, but it is supposed to cool down to a high of 80 degrees in the middle of next week, according to Weather.com.

It will be mostly sunny throughout the weeks of the fair. There is a small chance of some afternoon showers on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Monday, Oct. 7 and some morning showers on Friday, Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct. 13.

Animal Showings

The Georgia National Fair has plenty of activities with animals from sheep racing to numerous reptiles. Here are some of the fair’s biggest shows:

  • Eudora Farms Petting Zoo is home to more than 55 animals from Africa, South America, Australia, and Asia, according to the website. The zoo will be open daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m, and there will be education shows at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and and 6 p.m. from Oct. 4-13.
  • Nerger’s Tigers features Bengal tigers, and people will be able to watch them perform in daily showings at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Watch pigs race around a track at Robinson’s Racing Pigs show. Showtimes vary and can be found on the website.
  • Sea lions will show off their gymnastic skills at the Sea Lion Splash! Show times are at 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 4-13.
  • The Southeastern Reptile Rescue show features venomous and nonvenomous snakes as well as other reptiles, and show time are at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Oct. 4-13.
  • The “Wool Riders Only Presents…Mutton Bustin’” event features young boys and girls riding on sheep and desperately trying to hold on for a solid six seconds. Show times vary from day to day and can be found on the website.
  • The Second Annual Georgia National Fair Barrel Blast will have people racing around barrels on the backs of their sturdiest horses. The competition will be happening Oct. 4-6.

Arts and Crafts

The Georgia National Fair hosts a variety of art competitions from culinary baking to spinning and weaving. A full list of competitions can be found on their website.

Make sure to visit the Georgia Living Store to be able to purchase multiple different art forms and enjoy the general splendor of people’s handiwork.

Concerts

In years past, the fair has generally featured two to three artists in larger concerts that would cost an additional fee. For the 30th anniversary, there will be a free headliner concert each day for regular admission tickets. Each act will begin at 7:30 p.m. except for the Southside Worship concert which will begin at 7 p.m. and Rumba Latina at 6 p.m.

Below is a list of all the acts that will be performing on the Grand National Stage:

  • Oct. 3: Little Anthony and the Imperials
  • Oct. 4: Great White Lion Snake
  • Oct. 5: Purple Experience
  • Oct. 6: Southside Worship
  • Oct. 7: The Oak Ridge Boys
  • Oct. 8: Gin Blossoms
  • Oct. 9: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
  • Oct. 10: Diamond Rio
  • Oct. 11: Confederate Railroad
  • Oct. 12: The Grapevine
  • Oct. 13: Rumba Latina

In addition to the headliner, there will be acts playing throughout the fair. The concert times vary by day with some having three to four shows each day. The shows will take place at the Tower stage or the All-American stage while some acts will be walking around the fair playing.

Oct. 3 - Oct. 13

  • Leon Jacobs
  • Playin’ Possum
  • Tammy Barton

Oct. 4 - Oct. 6

  • M.V.P
  • Travis Porterfield
  • We Got the Beat

Oct. 11 - Oct. 13

  • Vocal Trash
  • George Erwin
  • Kharisma Jazzmatic Funk
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