The Pitt County American Legion Agricultural Fair opens today at 1 p.m. and will run through this Sunday closing at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate its 100th anniversary at the Pitt County FairGrounds.
Mary Anne Brannon, exhibit hall director for the Pitt County Fair, said the theme for this year’s county fair will be “100 years and still counting.” Within the exhibit hall itself, there will be displays orientated around this theme, and there will be events for children focused on the idea of 100 years.
“For me, we like to showcase our community. It’s (the exhibit hall) actually open to anyone who lives in North Carolina, but of course we showcase eastern North Carolina,” Brannon said. “I think it’s just a great way for people to come to the fair to see what other folks are doing and to recognize and support our local artists and farmers.”
The exhibit hall serves the main function of educating the public. There will be exhibitors for quilting, benefits of bees, sweet potatoes, prevention of family violence, wildlife, soil and water and other educational topics, according to Brannon.
New this year, the fair is offering visitors a car load ticket which allows up to six people admission for $60 offered for tonight only. Included in this is also the free shows that serve as entertainment outside of the rides that the county fair offers.
Bob Sheck, technical director for American Legion, is a part of the veteran’s group that volunteers to set up the building and displays for the Pitt County Fair.
The American Legion itself is a group that lobbies for benefits for veterans. They help veterans in need, but they also provide scholarships for students as well as other fundraisers to benefit the high school and college students, according to Sheck.
“There's a lot going on. We’ve got fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday night at 9 o’clock,” Sheck said. “We have a lot of fun out here.”
The county fair is being sponsored by the American Legion and volunteers will be out working the fair during the week, and people from the organization will be helping to maintain the buildings during the fair itself.
Martin Alvarez, member of the Aquatic Acrobatic Show, said the group is a fifth generational performance that travels all over the world to showcase their talents at fairs worldwide and will be performing with his family every day of the county fair, according to Alvarez.
“This year, the Aquatic Acrobatics Show is a brand new show. This is something that nobody has seen before, and nobody has done before,” Alvarez said. “This is one of my crazy dreams and ideas, and we came up with it, and it’s been a success.”
Aquatic Acrobatics is one of, if not the only, shows in the world that has a traveling jetski, acrobatics and aerial stunts. Their show is completely original to them, is performed mainly for fairs and festivals to entertain their audiences, according to Alvarez.
“What we want is for everybody to come out and see this new attraction that the fair is bringing out for the public, for their town,” Alvarez said. “This is something brand new that they’ll never get to experience again.”
Tickets for the fair are $7 for adults and students, and can be found on the Pitt County Fair website or can be purchased at the gates. Tickets for rides can be purchased inside the gates. Guests can also purchase a mega pass to gain entry and unlimited rides for the day.