Don’t want to drive yourself to the fair? This year, the Rapides Fair Association has contracted with Spangler Bus Tours, Inc. to provided transportation to and from the fair, beginning 45 minutes before the carnival starts. The pick-up location for those who would like to use this service is at the Alexandria Mall, near the Capital One location. Pick-up will be every 30 minutes. The cost of this service is $2.00 to take you to the fair and $2.00 for the return trip. For more information, contact Spangler Tours at (318) 641-8687.
A popular event in the past at the Rapides Fair has been the Cheerleader Competition. The competition is back this year! “Spirit Spectacular Competition” will take place this year on Tuesday, October 11th at the Rapides Parish Coliseum, beginning at 6:00pm (door open at 5:00pm). Ticket price is $10.00. Mimi Bolden is the coordinator of this event.
For over 20 years, Thomas Carnival has sponsored Special School Day at the fair. Special needs students are invited to ride some of the rides for several hours. Special needs students also enjoy visiting the livestock barn to view the large animals as well as the rabbits and chickens, the Barnyard Nursery viewing are and the small animals included in the nursery.
Each year, the Rapides Fair dedicates the Fair Catalog to the memory of individuals who have made contributions to the fair. This year, the catalog is dedicated to Lois Brister, Jackie Jones, James Gabour and Clara Mae Gunter.
Lois Brister spent her career as a 4-H Agent. She was dedicated throughout, touching the lives of many of the youth in Rapides Parish. Having been a 4-H’er herself, she believed in the 4-H program and its ideals. Lois worked tirelessly at the fair, always having new ideas for displaying 4-H exhibits and encouraging 4-Hers to participate in the fair. She was responsible for making the Barnyard Nursery the wonderful exhibit it is today, enjoyed by youth and adults alike.
Jackie Jones was the ever present volunteer and superintendent in the Food Preservation section of the fair for over 30 years. She could be counted on to keep that section updated and to secure additional volunteers for the fair. Jackie was also a premier exhibitor, winning Outstanding Exhibitor in the adult and Sr. Citizen section many times.
Fifty-seven years ago, James Gabour printed the first Fair Catalog. For fifty-six years, he was responsible for printing the book. He was always willing to share ideas that would make the finished product even better than the last. He was always patient, waiting for updates to the current book. Mr. Gabour took pride in his work and it was evident in the Fair Catalog.
Clara Mae Gunter for many years could be found in the barn as superintendent of the Rabbit Division. In the morning and evening, you would find Mrs. Gunter and her husband, E.J., taking care of the rabbit exhibits.
The 57th Anniversary Rapides Parish Fair will be held Wednesday, October 11th through Sunday, October 15th at 8149 Highway 71 South, next to the Megashelter at LSUA. The Fair will feature 4-H and FFA livestock competitions, arts and crafts, barnyard nursery, food vendors, concert, carnival rides and much more! For complete details and a schedule of events, visit www.therapidesparishfair.com.