Written by Emma Weber // Photo by Macy Cox
Starting in 1935, White County has been providing fun for all ages in a yearly fair, according to the White County Fair website. Saturday, Sept. 9 kicked off the beginning of this year’s White County Fair with a parade through downtown Searcy. All week, fair activities have been taking place on the fairgrounds, located off of Davis Dr.
Pageants, rodeos, a demolition derby and livestock competitions were among the main attractions for the week. These attractions provide opportunities to experience the surrounding area more fully. Different vendors will provide opportunities for food and other items for purchase. Junior Jennifer Matthews said she visited the White County Fair for her second time for these reasons.
“I’ve been to the Searcy fair twice now, and my favorite part would definitely be seeing all the animals and trying food at different food trucks,” Matthews said. “I’m from Little Rock, so I typically don’t see rodeos and demolition derbies where I’m from, so that is an interesting aspect for sure.”
The fair aims to offer fun for all ages, students and faculty alike. Head of the English Department Dr. Jonathan Singleton captured his time at the fair on the English Department’s Instagram account.
“I’ve been several times before,” Singleton said. “I went because it was Dollar Night, and I have a 12-year-old that wanted to ride the rides. I wanted to ride them as well. My favorite was a hang glider ride that made me feel like I was flying, without giving me the feeling that I was falling.”
The fair provides opportunities to have fun that even graduated students recall. Alumna Alexandra Wisner encouraged current students to attend the fair. She said going to the White County Fair during her freshman year was her first experience with a county fair.
“Walking in, I was immediately met with flashing lights, loud music and lots and lots of carnival rides,” Wisner said. “I don’t know if they still do it, but when I went, there was a museum of oddities that I paid a couple of dollars to get into, and it had a bunch of shrunken heads and preserved animals in jars. The best part was watching the rodeo, where I saw approximately 50 children chase a terrified calf around the ring to get the bow around its neck.”
Wisner said visiting the fair is a great way to interact with the Searcy community.
“If you’ve never been to a county fair before, the White County Fair is a great place to start,” Wisner said. “You’re outside of the Harding bubble, interacting with your Searcy community, and, if you’re not from the South, seeing a brand new side of small-town life. White County is a great place to live, and I didn’t realize how much I appreciate the Searcy community until I left. Leave campus and get involved in your town. Go on a dangerous fair ride. It’s fun.”
The fair closes its doors tomorrow, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. Until then, activities will be available at differing prices every night.