Big changes coming to Poinsett County Fair

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Poinsett County Agricultural Fair began in the 1880's with horse races as the main attraction. Around 1900, the fair had grown significantly. County residents were able to showcase their livestock, arts and crafts, field crops, vegetables, flowers, food preservation, clothing, quilts, and baked goods. The fair later added rides and games, along with a beauty pageant.

Since then, the Poinsett County Fair has been an annual event that people of all ages and interests all across the county, and even neighboring counties, have enjoyed. The only time the fair was suspended was for three years during WWII.

However, due to the economy, the fair has declined in attendance and exhibits over the years. Currently the Fair Board Members are trying to revitalize the fair by encouraging schools, Extension Homemakers Clubs, and various other clubs to submit items for exhibits, and a planning process has begun to build a new Exhibit Building. This year, the fair board is also allowing speciality food vendors to set up at the fair. Please contact Ann Parker (870-351-1327) or Tammie Stanford (870-578-7646) for more information.

The Poinsett County Fair is the only County Fair in the State of Arkansas that does not charge an admission. However, this year tables will be set up at each gate to accept donations. All of these donations will be spent on improving the fair and the fair grounds.

The Poinsett County Fair has been set for Aug. 23-27 this year. The Fair Board Members have been working very hard to improve the fair for everyone's enjoyment and entertainment. A complete schedule of events will be printed closer to the fair's opening date. Of special note this year, Ronnie McDowell will be performing.

This is the first time the Poinsett County Fair has ever hosted an entertainer such as Ronnie McDowell. Following the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, McDowell had a song that became his first country and only pop hit, his self-penned tribute song "The King Is Gone," which he recorded on the independent Scorpion record label. The record took off immediately, gaining airplay on country and pop radio stations across the United States and around the world. To date, "The King Is Gone" has sold more than five million copies. McDowell scored a second hit for the Scorpion label entitled "I Love You, I Love You, I Love You" before being signed by CBS Records Epic in 1979. McDowell charted a string of hit singles and albums for Epic between 1979 and 1986. Every single release, except one, became a Top 10 hit, including "Older Women" and "You're Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation." Other hits during his Epic years included "Watching Girls Go By," "Personally," "You Made A Wanted Man Of Me," "Wandering Eyes," "All Tied Up," and "In a New York Minute."

The Fair Entertainment Committee has put together four different sponsorship packages. If anyone is interested in becoming a sponsor for the entertainment, please contact Angie Swanner at 870-578-2121.

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