Despite Weather Kershaw County Fair Attracts Record Throngs

By Carlton W. Truax

CAMDEN — Record breaking throngs of fair folk passed through the gates of the Kershaw County Fair here on opening day Monday, and in spite of threatening rain, overcast skies and a sharp drop in temperature, the fair continued to attract county citizens in large numbers yesterday.

J. D. Crawford, secretary and treasurer of the fair, which is sponsored annually by the County Farm Bureau, reported that every space in the fair grounds was filled, by the deadline for entries, early yesterday afternoon.

“We had the best Monday night crowd we have ever had.” he reported. “More than 2,000 people wandered through the exhibit buildings and enjoyed the Vivona Brothers Combined “mile of thrills and entertainment show.”

In spite of a resolution passed by the Kershaw County Baptist Association “deploring gambling and indecent shows in Kershaw County, particularly at the County Fair.” Mr. Crawford had only praise for the Vivona Brothers carnival.

“They are the finest show people we have ever had to deal with,” he said. “They give us good clean entertainment and no trouble.”

“They know that they have got to live up to the city ordinances and they have always lived up to them.”

County and city law enforcement officers, which have inspected the show, agreed with Mr. Crawford in his commendation of the show.

What County Agent W. C. McCarley described as the biggest and best local cattle show ever held in Kershaw County, held the spot light during the first two nights of the 1953 exhibition.

Douglas Horton shown here, is a 17-year-old member of FFA from Mt. Pisgah. He has on display the most unusual animal of the 1953 Kershaw County Fair this week. His entry is “Henry,” his five-month-old Red Fox which he has raised from a puppy as a pet. (Record photos by Truax).

“Kershaw County is not predominately a cattle county,” Mr. Crawford said, “but this year we have more cattle than we have room for. Before the fair next year we are going to have to build a bigger cattle barn.”

The general opinion seemed to be that cattle on display looks better than ever before and the quality of the farm produce is good in spite of the unusually dry weather farmers have had to face.

For the first time in the nine years the Farm Bureau has been operating a fair in Kershaw County, individual farm families have set up booths to compete for the individual farm award.

Three Blaney farmers, Bobby Goff, Julian Moore and Hammy Moak, will compete for individual farm awards with their displays of products grown on their farms during the past year.

Altogether, four communities, Baron DeKalb, Blaney, Mt. Pisgah and Antioch, have set up booths to compete for the community award.

Visitors at the county fair this year will find it crowded with more attractions than ever before. The open space at the entrance to the fair grounds in front to the main building has been turned into a parking lot for the latest types of farm machinery. Every available space in all four of the  exhibit building is taken and filled with attractively displayed exhibits of farm and community products.

And the area reserved for the carnival has been enlarged to accommodate the enlarged show which Vivona Brothers brought to the fair this year.

It is the same carnival that appeared in Kershaw County at the 1952 fair, Mr. Crawford reported, but they have brought additional shows, rides and concessions with them this year.

This year the show’s 78 concession and 22 rides and shows is spread down the midway and around below the baseball field.

“I don’t see how they could put up another concession hut in the fair grounds,” Mr. Crawford said.

The displays this year appear to contain a greater variety of products than last year. In the poultry and small animals shed, farmers have brought in geese, ducks, Turkeys, guinea hens, rabbits, chinchilla, and one farm boy from Mt. Pisgah, Douglas Horton has on display his pet, five months old red fox, “Henry.”

Cotton may still be king, but during a rather hasty inspection of the field crips on display, not a single boll of cotton was in the the fair this year; however, the range of crops has spread from sugar cane to watermelon.

For the first time the Farm Bureau is staging a nightly free show. This consists of an exhibition by Capt. Leo Simon, who every night and on Saturday afternoon will place himself in a small box and blow himself up with three sticks of dynamite.

Other attractions of the week will be two football games and two “prize nights.”

Tonight, two Negro teams, Jackson High of Camden and Birk High of Charleston will play. Friday, Camden High will play its annual fair week game against Hartsville High School.

Every ticket sold at the fair gates today will be a change on a 1954 Ford which the Camden American Legion Post is giving away at a drawing tonight.

Friday will be White School Day and all schools except Camden High will be closed all day. Camden High School will close at Noon.

Saturday will be Negro School Day.

The fair will open at 4 p.m. today and tomorrow and at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Mr. Crawford predicted that about 25,000 people will attend the fair this year. Officers of the Fair Association this year are Neil Ratcliff, president and Robert Hall, vice president.

A list of judges for field crops, livestock, poultry and women’s and 4-H Club exhibits at the Kershaw County Fair has been announced by the W. C. McCarley, county agent, and Miss Margaret Fewell, home demonstration agent.

L. B. Massey, of Spartanburg, district farm agent, will judge the field crops, according to the announcement.

Hogs and livestock will be judged by Louis F. Catoe, Clemson College livestock specialist.

E. A. Peterkin of Dillon, poultry specialist from Clemson, will judge the poultry.

Judges for the women’s and the 4-H Club exhibits will included Mrs. Ellie Herrick, family life specialist for the Clemson Extension Service; Mrs. Rosalie Rayle, Sumter County Home Demonstration agent, and Miss Mattie Lee Cooley, HD agent for Fairfield County.

All exhibits to be entered in the exhibits had to be in on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and were placed by the department superintendent and were to be ready for judging at 10 a.m. today, according to the announcement.

1953.10.14 - Despite Weather Kershaw County Fair Attracts Record Throngs
October 14, 1953 Columbia Record (published as The Columbia Record) Columbia, South Carolina Page 6

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