The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

APRIL  2004

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.

The People News
Special Report






Come To The Fair  

Bradley County's very own Foothills Country Fair

by Alexandra Edwards

Spring is here and the sun is shining. What could be better than getting the family together for some good, wholesome, traditional family fun. The kind of fun where you can afford to take the whole family along. Where your own childhood memories can be relived while watching the kids create their own memories. Let's face it, no matter what our age, we are all still kids at heart.

Well, good news folks! if you are fortunate to live in  beautiful East Tennessee, on April 30th (to May 2nd) the Country Fair will return to Bradley County and will be making one huge, spectacular and long awaited comeback. The event will take place at the Tri-State Exhibition Center, just off  I-75 at Exit 20 in Cleveland, Tennessee.

It has been almost 40 years since Bradley County held it's last country fair. Reviving the fair has been talked about by local residents and civic groups for years but none seemed prepared to take on the gargantuan task of making it happen. However, in 2003, nine area Ruritan Clubs got together in an effort to re-establish this traditional form of community entertainment. They agreed to organize and sponsor what they considered to be an enriching experience for

Alexandra Edwards

the entire community. Within months, the nine Ruritan clubs; North Lee, Prospect, Harrison, Westside, Valley View, McDonald, Charleston, Black Fox and Flint Springs unified, elected a director from each club and joined with representatives of Tri-State Exhibition Center to form a 20 member non profit Fair Board.

This was the birth of  the Foothills Country Fair. Advertising and Promotion Director, Elizabeth Kalibus said. "The name Foothills Country Fair was chosen  because we wanted this to be not only a county but  regional  fair. We have not only been promoting the fair in Bradley but in all surrounding counties." 

Funding for the first fair will come from  sponsors, exhibitors, advertising, visitors, and a contribution from city and county government. Steve Parks, treasurer for the Fair Board and member of the Charleston Ruritan Club said that the proceeds from this year's event

will reimburse the Ruritan Clubs and be used to fund next year's fair.

A contest to design a logo for the fair was won by Patricia Scott of Copperhill. (The winning logo can be seen above, inset into a picture of Midway Carnival.)

The board felt a Queen was needed for the fair so it was decided to hold an annual "Miss Foothills Country Fair Scholarship Pageant" which will be a preliminary to the nationwide Miss America Competition. The Pageant will take place on Saturday, April 24th at Cleveland High School. The Pageant will include 4  categories; Miss Foothills Country Fair (ages 17-24),  Miss Foothills

Teen Princess (ages 13-18), Little Miss Foothills (ages 9-12) and Miss Pebble Princess (ages 5-8). If you think you have the cutest daughter or granddaughter in the state of Tennessee, you have until the deadline of April 10th to mail an application. For category ages 5-8 and 9-12 Tennessee residency is not required. Miss Foothills Country Fair will also become Cleveland's representative to the 2005 Miss Tennessee Pageant.

A country fair would be amiss without a carnival and one has been planned for this year's event.  The carnival will have around 25 rides and if you want to save a little money, watch out for the 20% discount coupons for carnival rides during the next few weeks. 

On the big day, Friday, April 30th,  the festivities will start at 10am with the Grand Opening Day Brunch and ribbon cutting.  Friday has also been designated "Kids Day." Kalibus said, "It will be like a Field Trip for the kids. Lots of fun and games have been planned, there will be face painting, clowns, BMX shows, children's seminars,  Smokey Bear will be there to teach kids about fires. Children will be shown how to milk a cow and sheer sheep. There will also

be instruction on bee keeping, recycling and veterinary advice for pets. The entertainment will include an illusionist, a mime, a petting zoo, pony and llama rides, as well as plenty of coke and ice cream."

Admission fees to the fair are inexpensive to encourage family participation. On Friday  "Kids Day," children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.  The regular admission fee is $5 adult, $3 for children and senior citizens. Souvenir buttons for a three day pass of $10 are available up to April 15th. Parking is free.

The Foothills Country Fair expect to have over 150 commercial and educational booths. There will be exhibits of arts and crafts, potters, woodcarvers and glassblowers. There will be displays of photography, quilting, landscaping, birds of prey, antique and new tractors, old cars and much more.
Entries for the Cultural Arts exhibits will be judged on Thursday April 29th so

fair-goers can view the entries and winners. 

Typically at country fairs one can find cotton candy, tasty burgers and hot dogs but the food booths at the  Foothills Country Fair will also include specialty and

gourmet foods. The food variety will include  Barbecue, Cajun, smoked turkey Legs, alligator, many types of sausages, Russian bakery, smoothies, and gourmet coffees.

Evening entertainment on Friday night will be "Oldies" with local bands Convertibull and the Tams and The Drifters. Saturday night will be Country Night with Bluegrass and folk dance performed by  Kuntry Kusins. Saturday night will close with a fireworks display. Sunday night 6 groups will be performing Gospel music.

So, put on your shorts, don't forget to grab your lawn chairs, chill out and enjoy

some good ol' fashion, finger lickin, cotton pickin fun.
Come to the Fair!

For more information on the Fair and Pageant visit or call  Elizabeth Kalibus 423-559-1674 - Steve Parks 423-715-6060 or The Tri-State Exhibition Center (423) 476-9310