County Fair’s opening weekend

The Chesterfield County Fair Association had a little rain to deal with at the opening of their 100th fair last Friday.  Their scheduled grand opening with special guests had to be moved to the auditorium at L. C. Bird High School.  

Speakers included Board of Supervisors Chairman Dorothy Jaeckle; Kenny Chandler, fair president; Dr. Lloyd Braswell, senior pastor, Chester Baptist Church; Savannah Lane, 2012 Miss Chesterfield County Fair; Dale District Supervisor, Jim Holland; Julia Williams, fair manager; Sen. John Watkins; Virginia State Senate, 10th District and Keith Henderson, Illusions of the King.

After the introduction of platform guests from the fair president, Kenny Chandler and Chairman Jaeckle welcomed guests to the fair.  Dr. Braswell gave the Invocation and the Chesterfield Joint Public Safety Honor Guard presented the colors followed by Savannah Lane, singing the “National Anthem.” Supervisor Holland gave special recognition to the 100th fair and noted that the fair is located in his district.  

Fair manager, Julie Williams, introduced the past presidents attending and recognized the fair board members and officers.

When Sen. Watkins was introduced, it was said that he was the bull-riding champion at the fair in 1975. Sen. Watkins reflected on his involvement in the fair and about his great-great grandfather , who had the initial idea of an agricultural fair.  He said his great uncle was the first one to introduce him and his father to the fair. “The fair is a group of people that believe not just in the fair but in Chesterfield County and willing to put in the hours that it takes to put on the fair,” he said.  

Watkins said he served six to 10 years on the fair board and that he learned and appreciated even more what the fair meant and it hasn’t changed. He closed with a letter that was written by his great-great grandfather 15 years after the fair open. It read in part how the fair had maintain a high standard of exhibits and entertainment...interesting and inspiring fair...best of all is the fine spirit of the fair, a happy, social event where friends meet friends and new friends are made. Sen.Watkins closed saying the letter is a fitting tribute to J.B. Watkins and the opening of the 100th Chesterfield County Fair.

The opening ceremony concluded with Keith Henderson singing “America the Beautiful.”

Bill Blevins, a Meadowbrook High School alumni and radio celebrity with Lite 98, served as Master of Ceremonies.

The nine-day fair with close its 100th fair on Sat., Aug. 31 at 11 p.m.

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