A Foothills celebration
Jul 23, 2013 | 754 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Our opinion may be a little jaded, but we can’t think of a reason any Cleveland or Bradley County family would pass on the opportunity to attend this week’s 10th annual Foothills Country Fair at the Tri-State Exhibition Center.

The three days of G-rated fun — and the “G” stands for GREAT — kick off Thursday.

This year’s Country Fair is billed “Celebrations,” and with good reason. Or, should we say “reasons.” Allow us to explain.

It is a celebration of longevity; for those who believe it can’t be possible, well, it is. The Foothills Country Fair this year is observing its 10th birthday. That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of big entertainment for a small, small price. For any who haven’t heard, a $10 pin will grant full admission into the festive atmosphere all three days and nights, and the real prize is the Friday night music. Where else can you be entertained by the caliber of music from country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder, as well as Mustang Sally, an all-woman country and rhythm-and-blues band ... all for just 10 bucks? That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of food that will whet the appetite of any Southern-born and homebred taste buds. The featured delight is the Kansas City Barbecue Society Backyard BBQ Bash for great outdoor cooks from around the nation, as well as a division for amateurs. It was a Country Fair favorite last year and looks to be the same again in 2013. That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of pageantry and little beauties. Yes, in keeping with the tradition of most country fairs, Foothills will bring to the stage a collection of beauty pageants for girls ages 5 to 12 — appropriately titled Wee Miss, Little Miss and Fair Princess — and for babies that will feature both boys and girls. The baby competitions include Infant Miss, Baby Miss, Baby Prince, Tiny Tot Miss, Tot Prince and Tot Miss. These precious little ones will be sights for sore eyes. That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of Ruritan, the heart of rural Bradley County and the variety of clubs that bring the Foothills Country Fair to our community each year. The national Ruritan is marking its 85th birthday and no telling how many years comprise the collective age of our beloved Ruritans here. Ruritan is all about hometown and all about neighbors. That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of Rudy Bear, the 25-year-old mascot of Ruritan. Rudy is turning a quarter of a century old this year. To help locals honor the mascot, National Ruritan President Dennie Clemmer will present Rudy Bears to local police and firemen who in turn will give them to children who have been involved in traumatic accidents or other serious situations. Such kindness lies at the heart of all things Ruritan. That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of cultural arts competitions and exhibits. Appreciating the diversity of our city, our county and our region is what a country fair is all about. Foothills is no exception. It is people friendly and family spirited. That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of ... well, a sport whose roots probably sprung up in the South. It is the demolition derby, an automotive crash craze probably a little short on culture but long on entertainment. And it’s loud. That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of area companies who believe in their Cleveland and Bradley County hometown so much that they stepped up to serve as sponsors. These are companies like Check Into Cash, US Money Store, Chamber of Commerce, Ace Hardware, Bank of Cleveland and its various branches, and the Bradley/Cleveland Teachers Federal Credit Union. That’s a reason to celebrate.

It is a celebration of unique interests: the marketing U.S. Money Mules who represent the Cleveland-based U.S. Money Shops, and who have replaced the scheduled appearance by the Cashdales; the world’s largest pinball machine that ... well, it’s the world’s largest pinball machine; Big Wheel races, Tennessee stickhorse races and more. That’s a reason to celebrate.

Looking for a way to have some fun? The Foothills Country Fair is it.

Do we sound a little like a traveling billboard? Perhaps. But we make no apologies for loving Foothills. It puts the fun in family.

For full details, check out www.foothillscountryfair.webs.com. It’s well worth the click.