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

Of Bradley County Tn.


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

The People News
Special Report






Get Ready For Foothills Fall Country Fair

by Alexandra Edwards

Back in 2004 after years of planning,  nine Bradley County Ruritan Clubs reached their goal in bringing back a county fair to the community. The fair's success has continued with each year getting bigger and better.

One member from each Ruritan Club sits on the Foothills Country Fair board of Directors. The clubs are; Black Fox, McDonald, Charleston, North Lee, Cherokee Too, Oak Grove, Flint Springs, Valley View, Harrison,  Westside and more recently, Taylor and East Hamilton County have joined the team.

Alexandra Edwards

Ruritan Clubs are rural not for profit organizations which provide a wide range of services to their communities such as providing recreational centers, sponsoring athletic programs, and helping  residents in their area that are sick or in need. Their slogan being "Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service."

Foothills Country Fair  organizer Nancy Alford said,  "The Ruritans will have a lot to celebrate this year, not only is it the 80th anniversary of Ruritan National, but also the 20th Birthday of Rudy Bear the Ruritan National mascot."  Rudy teddy bears are given by Ruritan members to to local fire, police, and rescue departments to give to children in moments of stress. "We will have birthday celebrations at the fair daily for both Rudy Bear and Ruritan.  Rudy Bear will be there to meet the kids and contests will be held, giving away Rudy Bears as prizes," Alford said.

This year the Ruritan's will present their 5th Annual Foothills Country Fair on Thursday September 25th through Sunday September 28th at the Tri- State Exhibition Center,  just off  I-75 at Exit 20.

This will be the first time that Foothills Country Fair will be held in the fall, the past four took place in early Spring. Alford explained, "The reason the FCF board opted for a September fair was that they wanted to push the Cultural Arts and that the fall would  bring more produce."

The fair will kick off at 4:00 p.m Thursday 25th with the Carnival offering fun rides for all ages. Throughout the fair there will be 4-H horse, beef, calf and poultry shows, cultural arts exhibitions, arts and crafts exhibitions, dog shows,  live nightly entertainment, beauty pageants and all the fun things that go into the makings of a good old fashioned country fair. For those creative folk who love to bake, paint, draw and sew, now is the time to enter the Cultural Arts Competitions.

An exiting new event to this year's fair will be the "Stoney Roberts Demolition Derby" which will take place on Friday 26 at 7:00 p.m. where applicants will be invited to "show off their fierce driving skills and smash their way into history by becoming the 2008 Champion."

Drivers must supply their own cars that must be properly prepared ahead of time, be over 18 years of age and have a valid driver's license in their possession. Drivers 16-17 years of age can also participate with a notarized parental medical statement.  The entry fee is $25 per car. Contestants have a chance to win a $1,500.00 cash prize and trophies will also be awarded. For rules and more information about the Demolition Derby call Frank Roberts 1-888-361-5767.

Another popular event which usually draws the crowds will be the return of the Foothills Mow-Down  lawn mower races which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm. The races include 8 classes, several of which will be for youths seven and up to participate.

Of course, what would a country fair be without a beauty pageant. The Fairest of the Fair Pageant is open  to Bradley beauties as well as those in surrounding areas. Contestant categories are Wee Miss (ages 5,6) Little Miss (ages 7,8,9)  and Fair Princess (ages 10,11, 12) These pageants will be held  the first evening of the  fair on Thursday, September 25 at 5:00 p.m. However,  Junior Fairest of the Fair (ages 13,14,15) and Fairest of the Fair (ages 16-20) pageants will take place the weekend before the fair on Saturday September,  20th at Cleveland High School Little Theater on Raider Drive in Cleveland at 6:00pm. Contestants are judged on beauty and on interview. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three in each pageant. The Fairest of the Fair winner will receive $300 cash and a trip to the state pageant in Nashville. Application forms for the pageants are available at

Some good evening entertainment is lined up for the duration of the fair which will include local groups Boogie Men, Convertibull, The Dexter Thomas Band, The Collins Bothers, and this year's Foothills Country Fair headliner will be none other than American Idol finalist Phil Stacey.

The Ruritan's have put a whole years work into this year's fair which promises to be bigger and better than than ever. All proceeds from the fair will go back to local Ruritan clubs and are used mainly for scholarships for local students.

Country fairs are one of rural America's finest traditions we all can remember as children. The wild carnival rides, the smell of delicious food, the shows, competitions and the great live music, all make for good old fashioned fun and entertainment for all ages.

Gate admission  is $5 until 5p.m. (For kids 5-12 and senior citizens it will be $3). Saturday after 5 p.m  admission will be $10 or $3 for kids and seniors.  2008 Foothills Country Fair pins are now available for $10 which will cover all four day events of the fair except the carnival where rides are extra.

The pins can be purchased at Beaty True Value Hardware on Wildwood Road, Cleveland Bradley Chamber of Commerce, Museum Center at 5ive Points, Tri State Exhibition Center, Cleveland Bradley County Teachers FCU, 420 Central Avenue,  Realty Executives at Bradley Square Mall, Smalley's Shoe and Boot, Colony Square, Keith Street, Goodner's Lawn Equipment, Hwy 58 in  Ooltewah and from participating Ruritan Club members.

Here's hoping you will celebrate the end of a great summer by attending this year's early  fall  Foothills Country Fair. For vendor information, application forms and any other information regarding the fair call Tri State Exhibition Center (423)476-9310

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See you at the fair.