The Interview – Gary Welden, Fair Chairman
What is the role of the Fair Chairman?
The fair is organized and run by a committee. Each member of the committee is responsible for part of the fair. My job as chairman is to help committee members if they need it, to be the face of the fair and oversee the big picture.
Why do the Kiwanis sponsor the fair?
The Kiwanis Club of Newnan is a civic/service organization. That means we are a group of people who come together to give back and help the community. We have two goals, one is to put on the best fair in we can and the other is raise money. The fair is our main fundraiser. All funds raised at the fair are given back to the community. No money is used for the operations of the club.
How much money has the Kiwanis Club put back into the community?
Over the past few years, we give about $180,000 in grant money to non-profits in the county. We also give money to the White Oak Golden Kiwanis for parking the cars; the Boy Scouts for picking up trash. The Boy Scouts, Coweta Kiwanis club and the 4-H also have food booths and raise money for their needs as well. The total is around $250,000.
What would be the perfect fair?
We are close to having the perfect fair. And it’s based on everyone working together.
We have partnered with the Coweta County commissioners and it would be hard to have a better fairgrounds. The sheriff’s office ensures everyone is on their best behavior. The 4-H program does a great job with the blue ribbons, agricultural and craft exhibits. Primetime Amusements does a great job with the midway and rides. And we have wonderful volunteers who take time out to make sure everyone has a great time.
If Mother Nature will give us cool nights with no rain this year, we may have the perfect fair this year.
What do you enjoy the most during the fair?
Seeing families enjoy the thrill of a fair. When you are old the most valuable thing you have are memories. The fair helps you make good memories. Seeing the face of a grandchild riding a ride with the grandparent … that is something they will never forget.
What do you wish more people would do at the fair?
Go to the exhibit halls, what I call the Blue Ribbon Fair. Seeing the entries for photographs, agriculture, bake goods, and preserved foods. People who do not go to the exhibit hall miss the best part of the fair. (See the fair book on our website for details)
What do you do if you lost your phone, a parent, or have some other question?
We have a lost and found and information center right near the entrance to the midway. There is always someone there that can help.
What is the best deal?
If you buy a mega pass for $25 you get admission any day and an armband for the rides. That saves $5 on week nights and $10 on Friday and Saturday. (Mega Pass must be bought before Sept. 21.)
On Monday night Dr. Pepper is providing free admission, and arm bands are $25.00
What day is the best day to attend the fair?
Weeknights are the best days, There will be bigger crowds on Friday and Saturday.
Any other suggestions?
It’s always smart to bring cash for the games or food. We have ATMs, but the line can get long. And make sure you dress for the weather. It can still get really hot in late September, so make sure you have adequate protection from the sun. And finally, come ready to have a great time with your family.