Shelby County Fair celebrates centennial year

Published 3:24 pm Monday, September 12, 2011

Children must be 36 inches tall to go on the fair’s rides. Tripp Robinson, 3, on his first solo helicopter ride at the Shelby County Fair 2010. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Mark your calendar! The Shelby County Fair is coming to town Sept. 19-24 at the Columbiana Exhibition Center. Our county fair is the real deal with roots 100 years old. The first Shelby County Fair was held in Montevallo in 1911.

Since 1949, the Kiwanis Club of Columbiana, and also the Chelsea Kiwanis Club in recent years, has produced the Shelby County Fair, donating countless volunteer hours to give back thousands of dollars to Shelby County’s youth supporting the motto of Kiwanis Club International: “Serving the Children of the World.”

The Shelby County Fair is not for profit; it is for the people of Shelby County — an affordable, family friendly, safe time of old fashion fun with home-grown entertainment, competitions of produce, baked goods, crafts, plants and livestock shows. More than $11,000 is awarded in prize money celebrating this year’s theme: “Shelby County Agriculture: Alabama’s Treasure Chest.”

For the nominal price of $10, you can experience a night of unlimited rides, livestock shows Monday through Thursday and free entertainment every night. Carnival rides begin at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Monday night is senior night with gospel entertainment; $5 admission for those 55 and older. Tuesday is student discount night, and Elvin Hill Elementary will entertain at 6 p.m. Wednesday, the award winning Dream Makers Dance Group will perform at 6:15 p.m. followed by the SCHS Show Choir. Amy Rush and Paula Head will entertain Thursday, and Friday is Elvis night. Saturday, entertainment will begin at 1 p.m. with Livestock; the needle in the haystack for children starts at 5:45 p.m.; and the Corbitt’s then the Dallas Perry Band will close the fair’s entertainment.

In 2010, it took more than 2,500 volunteer hours to make the fair a huge success. From the dedicated volunteers’ selfless gifts of time, more than $26,000 was given back to our community: to Shelby County’s schools, Scout troops, youth activities, reading programs, FFA, scholarships and other charities that “serve the children of the world.”

So when you come to the fair this year — and please come – know that your $10 is used to help our youth in Shelby County. Our fair is for us, Shelby County, to enjoy and have a great time of good clean fun, but also understand that your money is given right back to help our children. Come enjoy the fair this year!

For more information, visit

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

email author More by Phoebe Donald