Tennessee Valley Fair kicks off 103rd year
By Mike Steely
The Tennessee Valley Fair kicked off its 103-year Friday at Chilhowee Park with a large crowd of elected officials, fair supporters and interested citizens. Andy Holt, a native Knoxville resident, former elected official and now Assistant Commissioner of Business Development for the Tennessee Agriculture Department, emceed the event.
The luncheon was lively and joyful and Holt recalled his time as a youth at the fair when he competed in livestock shows. He said those experiences with 4-H helped greatly as he reached adulthood and stayed involved in agriculture. The public official and farmer recognized his former 4-H leader who was present in the crowd.
Many speakers, like Holt, recalled their past visits with their families to the fair, especially the agricultural exhibits, baby animals and farm equipment.
The luncheon and kick off were sponsored by Harper Auto Square, Lamar Advertising and First Bank. Attendance was by invitation and almost every table was taken. Other speakers included fair officials, sponsors, former Trustee Ed Shouse, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, and Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon.
The fair will run through Sunday, September 17 with more than 100 rides, attractions and activities. Tickets are $9 to $12 and parking is about $15 at various places inside and outside the fairground at Chilhowee. Each day will see special live music, different farm and animal events, the fair midway and rides, and exhibits in the Jacobs Building.
Tickets for the concerts are sold separately. The artists include Travis Tritt on Tuesday, T-Pain on Thursday, and Corey Kent and Cory Carmichael on Sunday. Live Pro Wrestling on Friday is free with gate admission to the fair.