by STEPHANIE CRIDER

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Can you smell the scent of funnel cake and popcorn in the air? The fair is in town.

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The Fort Bragg Fair, one of the c ommunity’s most anticipated spring events, is opening its doors, or fairgrounds rather, to the community and inviting everyone to come out and enjoy the festivities.

The Fort Bragg Fairgrounds, located on Bragg Boulevard is open to the public for this event.


“It is a great family-oriented event,” said Rhett Stroupe, event coordinator. “It is where families can come and enjoy a carnival atmosphere with games, carnival rides and live entertainment and just relax.”


Stroupe has been coordinating the Fort Bragg Fair for about seven years now and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to meet and be involved with so many different people.


“For me it is about the personal relationships,” said Stroupe. “Each year has is its own little challenges, which keeps it fresh and keeps it interesting; plus we try to keep it fresh for our customers as well.”


Speaking of keeping it fresh. There will be a few new rides this year, and some changes in the entertainment, too. 


“Traditionally, we’ve had mainly live bands but we are doing it a little different this year,” said Stroupe.


“We’ll still have live bands, but we are also doing a dance troop. We are having a magician perform for us and then we are having some Star Wars characters come out. It is going to be pretty awesome.”

Over the years, attendance at the fair has averaged about 42,000, but Stroupe is hopeful that they can serve even more this year.


“Because we have a large number of soldiers who have come back, this is an opportunity for them to reacquaint themselves with their families and I am very excited about it,” he said.


Noting the downturn in the economy, he looked to that as a factor in projecting attendance.


“A lot of people aren’t traveling away as much, which I look at as an opportunity for us as well.”


As in previous years there are discounts on certain days. Monday through Thursday is Customer Appreciation Day. Admission is $5 from 5-7 p.m. Mother’s Day is another special discount day for moms only. Moms pay just $5 when accompanied by a paying child 3-17 years old.


Regular hours are as follows: gates open at 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; and at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission rates vary depending on the day and time.


 After 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, general admission is $10, military/Department of Defense civilians, $8, children ages 3-9, $8, handicapped non-riders $5, senior citizen non riders (age 50 and older) $5. From 5-7 p.m. children 3 and older $5, children under 36” free.


Friday through Sunday general admission is $14, military/DoD civilians, $12, children ages 3-9, $12, handicapped non-riders, $5, senior citizen (50 and older) non-riders, $5, children under 36” free. There is also free parking throughout the fair.


For more info call 396-9126/6126 or visit www.fortbraggmwr.com.



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