By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

The Trousdale County Fair received top honors from the Tennessee Association of Fairs, being named the Division A State Champion at last month’s banquet in Nashville.

“They started reading the description of the winning fair and I told Judy Woodard, ‘That’s us!’ ” said Fair Board Chairman Kathy Atwood. “It was a very exciting night.”

Atwood said fairs are judged based on reports filed along with observers from the TAF. Observers review each fair and offer suggestions for improvement.

Atwood said Trousdale Fair Board members had worked hard over the years to incorporate ideas for improving the local fair.

Lounita Howard / For The Vidette
The Trousdale County Fair was named state champion in Division A by the Tennessee Association of Fairs. Pictured from left are: Fair board members Judy Woodard and Kathy Atwood, 2017 Fairest of the Fair Whitney Dansby and Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton.

“We always take that information when we plan in January and February,” Atwood said. “I think they saw they every year we have tried to do what they said we needed to do.”

Atwood noted added signage promoting the fair, a fair catalog that appeared in The Vidette last year, a PickTN agricultural exhibit, agricultural games as among the additions in recent years.

Atwood said Trousdale winning the award was perhaps a bit sweeter given the fair’s lack of a carnival. She said the board had looked at estimates, but a minimum price tag of $25,000 per day was not feasible for Trousdale County.

“We’ve done everything we could to make up for that,” Atwood said. “The whole package helps, having enough going on to see that it’s fair-like.”

Asked if there was a specific event that judges pointed to that made Trousdale County stand out, Atwood pointed to ‘Family Feud.’

“They’re always impressed by that. It’s something unique that involves the community,” she said.

Atwood also pointed to the fair’s estimated attendance of 3,700 over three days last year. While not a large number in and of itself, it represents a significant portion of the Trousdale County population.

The top award went to the Rhea County Fair, which was named the Champion of Champions Fair for 2017. The Rhea County Fair was also among the 54 fairs recognized with the Award of Merit, based on agriculture, educational value, overall operations, and the promotion of local interest and community spirit.

“The fairs of Tennessee provide good, clean competition, fun, community involvement and entertainment for people of all ages,” TAF President Lisa Robinson said. “Most of these events are served by volunteers who are instrumental to the success of our agricultural fairs.”

Other division winners were Warren County in Division AA and Wilson County in Division AAA. Trousdale County will compete with those two in 2019 for the Champion of Champions Award.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com. Contributing: Staff reports