Williamson County Fair kicks off its 161st year - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Williamson County Fair kicks off its 161st year

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MARION -- Preparations are well underway for this week's Williamson County Fair as the historic event kicks off its 161st year.

The celebration began Sunday, but the carnival portion won't begin until Tuesday night.

Carnival workers started early Monday as they pulled into the Williamson County Fairgrounds.

"If everybody will work together like they're supposed to, we should be able to get all the rides up by tonight," said ride operator Regina Mister on Monday.

Crews began setting up rides, tightening every nut and bolt.

For the past few years the Fair Board has hired H & H Amusements, which drove straight from the Cobden Peach Festival.

"We're the longest continuous running fair in Illinois," said fair board President Rick Herring. 

This year's fair will feature food favorites like corn dogs, funnel cakes and lemon shake-ups, as well as games and about a dozen rides for all ages.

"He's actually brought more rides this year and he's going to try to get more on this midway filled up," Herring said. 

Herring said people can find free entertainment almost every night, but safety takes top priority before anyone gets on a ride.

"We have to run them so many times to make sure everything is okay," Mister said. 

Herring said the health department will check food vendors Tuesday before they open their shops to customers. He hopes weather won't present a problem so everyone can come out and enjoy themselves.

"It's something that you just work to keep the tradition going," Herring said.
 "Please bring your kids, grandchildren, nieces and nephews out, we'll have a ball," Mister said. 

The carnival opens Tuesday at 5 p.m. Armbands cost $15 for the fair, which will run through late Saturday night.

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