Macon - The Georgia State Fair announced it will not have a fall 2009 fair but will instead be moving to become a spring event in 2010 with an expanded schedule. The dates for the 10 day event will be April 29 - May 9, 2010.
"We are expanding our marketing budget, entertainment and all our fair activities", said Betsy Yates, the fair's Marketing Director. "We will be re-doing everything, including looking at large scale entertainment and concerts".
The Georgia State Fair was begun in 1855 and has been operated by the Exchange Club of Macon for the past 67 years. The fair operated for many years during the third week in October, running Monday through Saturday. With the advent of the Georgia National Fair in Perry, the fair moved its dates to September in an effort to hold the event prior to the Georgia National Fa
While competition from the GNF was a factor in the move Yates said it was not the primary motivation. "In September we have competition with youth football and the heat is a big concern. We also wanted to expand the event which wasn't an option in the fall", she said. Yates said temperatures in April and May are 12 degrees cooler than in September and the expanded 10 day fair will give the event more programming opportunities.
Yates said the move was being well received by the community and the fair's vendors. "We talked to our key vendors and they are absolutely thrilled by the move to a ten day fair", she said.
Another important improvement will come in the agricultural area. FFA officials told the fair they will be able to have chicken and goat exhibits for the first time in many years and they are confident they will be able to have an increase in agricultural offerings because of the new fair dates.
In addition to the changes and expansion in other areas of the fair, the Georgia State Fair will also have a new midway when they move to spring 2010. Long -time carnival company Amusements Of America was unable to participate in a ten day fair in the spring so Wade Shows was selected for contract negotiations after a request for proposal process involving several carnival companies. "We are real excited about working with Wade Shows", said Yates. "They have an impeccable reputation and history and will be a perfect fit for us", she added.
Wade Shows will be bringing several new rides to the event and plan many customer amenities, landscaping and seating areas to give the fair an amusement park-like atmosphere.
Frank Zaitshik, owner of Wade Shows, said he was "glad to add another state fair to our route. The Georgia State Fair has a lot of tradition and history and we see great potential there with an expanded spring event."
Embarking upon on a new era in 2010, the fair hopes to start new traditions while maintaining the nostalgia of their agricultural roots.