The Death of the State Fair is Upon Us. R.I.P.

County Fairs used to be the social highlight of the year back in the day. If you grew up in a non-farm area and never got to attend a local county fair it was an experience not to be missed. Schools would dismiss for the whole week because kids were showing animals and/or exhibits. Ferris Wheels, Tilt-a-Whirls, Roller Coasters, were loud clanky metal contraptions. Safety inspectors? Har.

I’ve been to a state fair once because one of the kids was in competitive group baton twirling.

The last time I was at a state fairgrounds, it was in Nashville for a flea market. I haven’t even been to the local county fair because I’ve had my fill of demo derbies and tractor pulls and monster trucks. Spike TV has ruined it for me.

The Tennessee State Fair Board has hired a new marketing person to “reinvent the fair experience.”

The board named Chrysty Beverley Fortner director of marketing, says Buck Dozier, executive director of the Tennessee State Fair and the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.

“We’ve asked for the overall experience of the fair to be reinvented and that’s exactly what Chrysty is poised to do,” says Dozier.

So how might this be done? How do you reinvent the “fair experience.”

Take away the animals?

  • It’s just Six Flags over Kingdom Center

Take away the rides?

  • It’s just a zoo

Clean up the crowd?

  • It’s just Dollywood or Disney World

Provide healthy food?

  • ahahahahaha

Get rid of amateur talent competiton?

Get rid of the professional stage entertainers?

  • Karaoke in the Humidity!

Pile a bunch of overweight drunk rednecks in the grandstands to drink beer and yell Wooooo.

  • NASCAR

PIle a bunch of rowdy drunk millenials and Xer’s into grandstands and yell Wooooo.

  • College football

I know the Tennessee Fair Board needed to put out a press release justifying hiring this person. But people can see through the charade. State Fairs are passe, done, kaput. There isn’t one aspect of a state fair that isn’t done better by one of the above.

The Tennessee State Fair will be looking to relocate. I suspect they will get a ton of money from the taxpayers to build the state-of-the-art State Fairgrounds. The Tennessee State Fairgrounds are now located in a run-down part of Nashville on top of a hill. Parking is horrible. But now is the time just to close it down, divvy up all the money to counties that have a county fair and call it the passing of an era.

County fairs must be struggling – imagine how thrilled they would be if the Tennessee State Fair Board disbanded. OTOH, the fair board is probably deep in debt and there is no money to share.

Never mind. I live in Kentucky, what the hell do I care?

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