Oak Mountain State Fair sees great turnout

Published 12:13 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Whirs of excitement can be heard as Oak Mountain State Park gives fun, food and exciting rollercoaster rides for attendees to enjoy until Sunday, April 9.

The Oak Mountain State Fair will be present in the parking lot of the Pelham Civic Complex and Oak Mountain Amphitheatre area until Sunday, April 9.

The fair is full of fun rides, entertainment, games, prizes and more. Kissel Entertainment has partnered with Oak Mountain State Fair to produce the fair this year.

“This is the first time that Kissel Entertainment has played the Oak Mountain State Fair however, we may be familiar to some folks in the area since we played the Shelby County Fair in Columbiana for years,” said Keith Hamby of Kissel Entertainment. “We are based out of Clanton, so we consider this our back yard. I can guarantee that since this is our first time in Pelham that Fair-goers who have attended previous Oak Mountain State Fairs will see and experience something new and different this year.”

Hamby shared what his favorite part of the fair is and why it is so important to see people from every generation out enjoying the activities that the fair has to offer.

“Our favorite part of bringing the Fair experience to the public is the fact that we are a family-run amusement company bringing family-focused entertainment to every community we visit,” Hamby said. “We enjoy seeing families with small children experience their “firsts,” whether it’s their first ride, first candied apple or first carnival game.  It is especially rewarding to see multiple generations enjoying the Fair experience together and creating memories to last a lifetime.”

Hamby said that Kissel seeks to ensure all present at the fair are comfortable on the fair’s Midways and that is why seating is offered as well as shaded dining areas, a baby changing station and a fully staffed Welcome Center.

“We truly offer something for everyone, even if you don’t ride amusement rides, you will still be entertained if you enjoy any of the four shows and attractions like the circus, sea lions, banana derby or goat island,” Hamby said.

Hamby said that crowds have been great and that turnout has been amazing overall.

“We’ve had great crowds all week and have been amazed by the turnout on the typically slow days like Wednesday and Thursday,” Hamby said. “The staff at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre do a great job with security, policing and providing fencing, on-duty EMTs and a non-stop cleanup crew.”

There are a variety of shows for families and attendees to enjoy during their time at the fair, and Hamby said these shows are often a hit with fair-goers.

“The most popular attraction is the Sea Lion Splash Show that is informative, entertaining and educational,” Hamby said. “Even when not performing, the Sea Lions can be viewed swimming in their large pools or sunning themselves on the stage.  Our most popular rides are the Python roller coaster, the Matterhorn and the super spectacular Alter-Ego thrill ride along with the ever-popular Carousel, Astro Wheel and Tilt-a Whirl.”

Although turnout for the fair this year has been great, Hamby said more families and guests are expected this year before the fair closes for the season.

“We expect more families to come out and enjoy the Fair because our family caters to families,” Hamby said. “We take pride in helping families create memories by making every experience as memorable as possible.”

Hamby said the partnership between Kissel Entertainment and the Oak Mountain State Fair has been a good one and fulfilling one.

“We hope to visit Pelham for years to come and so far, this has been one of the warmest receptions from any community along our six-state route, covering 27 stops, over the course of nine months of travel,” Hamby said. “We love forming lasting partnerships with great venues like the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre and visiting welcoming communities like Pelham and being part of growing counties like Shelby County.”