Having been born and raised and still living in Concord, N.C. may seem odd to some, but not to me! I’ve had the good fortune to be able to travel here and there, sometimes for work, sometimes for personal reasons but I’m always happy to return home.
Each September, I’d always look forward to the Cabarrus County Fair. I always got to go on the day local schools gave out FREE tickets. I went to the “city schools” so we usually went on Tuesday and the “county schools” went another day. Now the system is consolidated, but not back then. I’m talking 1962-66 when I was still in grade school and there was “magic in the air” every September. In my day, the fair wasn’t where it is now at The Cabarrus Arena and Events Center on Highway 49@ Old Airport Road. Back then, it was at the “old fairgrounds” on Cabarrus Avenue between 601 & 29 beside Ben Mynatt Chevrolet. Part of the old fairgrounds is part of the Country School Bus Garage Facility and the other part stores overflow of cars and trucks from Ben Mynatt. For the record, to me, the fair hasn’t been the same since it moved.
I remember that Clyde Propst was the manager of the fair and would always ride around in his golf cart checking on things…I remember entering through the big building at the entrance to the fair that was the main exhibit hall….I remember smelling the fudge that was made there usually buying some on the way home because you can’t ride the “scrambler” and look after fudge….I remember the “Hootchie Cootchie” show that was way off limits to kids my age in the tent off the midway at the very back of the fairgrounds…I also remember going with my friends back there one time trying to sneak a peek and getting caught…I remember the livestock exhibit….I remember the smell of the livestock exhibit…I remember local churches and civic organizations had food booths and the food smelled so good as you walked around the midway…….I remember always wanting to win a prize, but never wanting to do the games….I remember the RIDES…….the ferris wheel….the bullet…….the round-up….the scrambler….the swings…the FUNHOUSE.
The Fair has always been listed as an agricultural fair because it’s roots travel back to pre and post civil war Cabarrus Country where farming and later textiles became the main industry. It was THE annual event that local farmers could show their prized livestock and bountiful crops, plus handmade crafts were on display for all to see and purchase.
It doesn’t seem like “my” fair anymore, but that’s just because I have fond memories of the fair when I was at a magical age. My fair was also the fair of my children when they were young in the late 80’s and early 90’s. As I now get to take my grandkids to the fair in its new location, it’s this version of the Cabarrus County Fair they will remember. When it comes to county fairs, the personal memories live on and are special for many reasons.