The Ferris wheel is up, and Opelika is ready for some funnel cake.
The 76th Lee County Fair is back in town until Saturday night, after missing a year for the first time in its history in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Located on Highway 431 North, the fair is run by the Opelika Exchange Club and James Gang Amusements. Opelika Exchange Club President Jerry Dakins is ready for the community to come and join the fun.
“It feels great to be back,” Dakins said. “It even feels great for the community and people involved. We’re all excited about it.”
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or ahead of time at special locations for a discounted price.
Ticket prices at the gate vary by age: ages 2 or under are free, ages 2-11 are $4, and ages 12-59 are $5.
Tickets can be purchased for $4 at Beauregard Drugs, Bubba’s Medicine Shop and Our Home Pharmacy. The tickets are good for any night, and the price only includes admission into the fairgrounds.
Tickets pre-purchased tickets also have a special entrance to skip the line.
For unlimited rides, there will also be $20 wristbands.
The Lee County Fair will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday then open on 4 p.m. for the final day Saturday.
Concessions and games are set up and ready for the community. There will also be a mix of adult and kid rides all throughout the fairground.
“Our concession stand is famous for our burgers and hot dogs. You got to at least come for one of those,” Dakins said.
He explained Thursday night is more than just a fun night at the local fair. It will also be Veterans Appreciation Night. More importantly, it’s to help decrease the veteran suicide rate and give them the help they need.
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, 20 veterans commit suicide daily.
“We’re trying to reach out to those veterans and let them know that there’s help out there,” Dakins said. “There’s help in the local area. They don’t have to go far to ask for help.”
There will also be a raffle for a 55-inch television; all that’s needed is a veteran ID or DD214. The winner will be announced at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
For those debating on taking a trip to the fair, Dakins said the gate is always open.
“We’re pretty proud of the fairground, and we want to share it,” Dakins said. “We want them to come out and feel like the fairground is theirs. It’s a great, festive atmosphere. Get out here and just enjoy.”