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Effingham County Fair aims to be bigger, better
Grady Rahn
Grady Rahn situates a sign that announces the dates of the 2022 Effingham County Fair. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — Even though the 2022 edition of the Effingham County Fair is more than 200 days away, plans for the event are well underway.

The Fair Committee’s top agenda item is raising the fair’s profile, especially locally. It is set Oct. 13-22.

“We have so many new people in this county,” said Beth Epling, a member of the Fair Committee for more than four decades. “We’ve got to figure out to make contact with them.”

The Effingham Herald will aid the Fair Committee’s cause by publishing a story about the fair each of the next six months. It will also continue to publish the award-winning annual fair guide in October.

The Fair Committee is confident that it has an excellent product to sell.

 “We have a lot of people come from South Carolina and all around because the fair is so clean, the rides are so good and everybody is so nice to them,” Epling said.

The 2021 fair was highly successful. People were eager for its return after COVID-19 concerns prompted its cancellation in 2020.

“We probably had as good of a year (in 2021) as we’ve ever had,” Fair Committee Manager Grady Rahn said. “The weather — we had 10 good days.”

Rahn said the fair’s 2022 attractions are lined up. They will be provided by North Carolina’s Powers & Thomas Midway Entertainment.

“I talked to (Powers & Thomas Midway Entertainment owner Ed Powers),” Rahn said. “They are already on the road (for the 2022 fair circuit). Everything is looking good for them, he said.”

Rahn said the Fair Committee is responding to fairgoer requests.

“Supposedly, everybody wants bigger rides,” he  said. “(Powers & Thomas Midway Entertainment) is not a big operator but they are supposed to have four new rides for us. One of them is still in shipping.

“Most of your big rides are made overseas.”

The Fair Committee is aiming to enhance the number of booth displays. 

“What a great thing for a business,” Epling said. “Thousands of people come through here in each night, especially (the night of the Effingham County Fair Parade). A lot of businesses are missing an opportunity (to connect with potential customers).”

The Fair Committee will explain booth benefits by hosting the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours at the fairgrounds in August. Recently, Effingham Women in Business conducted an event at the fairgrounds.

The Effingham County Fair also conducts a pageant, livestock show and a variety of exhibits (sewing, crafts, cooking, plants, etc.) It also features a plethora of food options, games and a petting zoo.