Shelby County Fair moves to Alabaster

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Shelby County Fair will go on … in Alabaster.

To give those who have had to flee their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and those who have stepped up to help them a brief respite from the overwhelming losses exacted by that storm, the Shelby County Fair is moving to Alabaster’s Veterans Park.

The event will be held Sept. 19-24 as planned.

Shelby County and the city of Columbiana, in cooperation with other organizations, are turning the fairgrounds and John E. Jones Exhibition Center in Columbiana into a longterm shelter for victims displaced by Hurricane Katrina, which is being called the worst natural disaster to hit American soil in recorded history.

The Kiwanis clubs of Columbiana and Chelsea, which jointly sponsor the annual fair, are also dedicated to supporting the recovery effort and helping those affected to rebuild their lives.

However, as Alabaster Mayor David Frings and the city of Alabaster have generously offered to make Veterans Park off Highway 119 available, fair officials said, &uot;Shelby County and many of the ‘new citizens’ taking refuge and rebuilding their lives among us should still have the opportunity to enjoy the Shelby County Fair.&uot;

According to officials, &uot;We would like to thank Alabaster for their hospitality and hope to have the largest turnout ever to support the fair and the many organizations and events that Kiwanis sponsors throughout the year.&uot;

Officials have emphasized that this year’s fair will consist of carnival rides, games, food and other activities. Displays, however, will not be a part of this year’s fair.

Admission for this year’s fair is $8 per person, which covers the cost of parking and all rides. Game prices vary and are not included.

The gates at Veterans Park will be open Monday through Friday at 5:30 p.m. and at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Directions to the fair at Veterans Park are as follows:

Exit Interstate 65 at Alabaster/Sagniaw Exit 238.

Follow Highway 31 N into Alabaster. Merge in the left lane at the intersection of Highway 31 and Highway 119.

Turn left across the railroad tracks onto Highway 119 and proceed through seven traffic lights. There will be a BP Station at the seventh light.

Proceed though the seventh light, and Veterans Park is on the right. The entrance will be clearly marked with a large sign.

Fair officials reported that last year the Shelby County fair pumped $50,000 into local programs including the Key Club, Boy Scouts, schools and libraries