Apr. 8—HEFLIN — The 9th annual Cleburne County Rodeo and Fair is coming next week and Chad Robertson, executive director of the Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce, is busy putting up signs around town to promote it.
Cleburne County Fair and Rodeo
Where: Intersection of County Road 46 and Interstate 20 at exit 205 at 350 Spirit Drive in Heflin.
When: April 14-17. Fair will open at 5 p.m. each night except for Saturday when it will open at 10 a.m.
How much: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, admission is $2 per person. The admission to the rodeo is $15 on Friday but that also includes admission to the carnival. On Saturday the carnival is $5 until 7 p.m. when the price will increase to $10. The rodeo admission of $15 also covers the carnival admission on Saturday. Tickets are available at the gate. Children 5 and under will be admitted free everyday. All carnival rides are purchased separately.
This year's fair and rodeo has been moved from August to April to escape hot and humid weather that patrons found disagreeable before.
"We heard a lot of people complain about how hot it was, so we took that into effect, we felt like we were competing with a lot more in the fall, with outdoor markets ... we were competing with football," Robertson said Wednesday.
Even though the fair won't be competing with high school and college gridiron contests, it will still compete with other regional fairs in the area.
"Clay County's fair is the same week and Heard County's (Ga.) fair is the same week, we're still running in competition," said Robertson.
Robertson said the fair will run from April 14-17 and will feature a rodeo, musical entertainment, 20 carnival rides, food, more than 30 vendors and plenty of community pride.
"There'll be funnel cakes, Icees, bar-B-Q — we've got good food vendors this year," said Robertson.
The fair will open Wednesday night with "church night."
"If you bring your church bulletin — we sent out some coupons too — you get in free at the fair, you still have to pay for the carnival rides but the entrance to the fairgrounds is free, we're going to have live entertainment and worship that night," Robertson said.
Thursday night theme will be "spirit night" to recognize high schoolers and athletes who were shortchanged from having pep rallies due to COVID-19.
"All the students get in free, the high school bands will perform as well," Robertson said, comparing the event to a big pep rally complete with high school cheerleaders.
Frontier Classic Rodeo will put on a show both Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 7 p.m. Robertson said.
The gates will open at 5 p.m. each evening except for Saturday, when it will open at 10 a.m. and last all day.
On Saturday, singer/songwriter Hayden Coffman will headline the musical offerings of the day and will perform at 5 p.m. Other entertainment will be ongoing all day including the Patrick Smith Band, singer/songwriter McCain Carlile, a martial arts exhibition by Smith's Martial Arts and a three piece rock band called Bettin' on a Mule.
The Cleburne County Extension Office will have a master gardener exhibit and a "seed exchange" on Saturday.
"If you have seeds you can bring them in and trade them with other people," said Robertson.
"Say if you've got cucumber seeds and you want some tomato seeds you can trade them," said Robertson.
Robertson said the fair is sponsored by Buster Miles Chevrolet and Taylor Corp. The property the fairgrounds are on is owned by David Hewitt.
"He graciously lets us do this, it wouldn't be possible if he didn't," said Robertson.
Robertson said the fair is a time to let everyone see what the community is all about.
"People are excited about it, that's contagious, once the fair is here there's a sense of teamwork, the community comes in enjoys it and everybody seems happy ... it really brings the community together and lets Cleburne County just shine as a community," he said.
Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.