Welcome to the fair

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Organizers for the 2015 Washington Parish Free Fair are excited, as the event gets underway.

The 104th annual Washington Parish Free Fair is scheduled to run through Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Fairgrounds in Franklinton. Events such as the fair’s opening ceremonies and Fair Queen contest were Tuesday night.

“Preparations are going wonderfully,” fair president Dianne Applewhite said Tuesday morning. “All the volunteers at the fairgrounds look like a bunch of little ants because they are everywhere.

“When it gets to this point, everybody knows what their job is and what to do. It truly is an amazing group of people.”

A new addition to the fair is a flower house. The rodeo arena also had some improvements for this year. There are also new steps around the main stage.

Saturday’s Main Stage artists include Krossfyre and the Dominos. Friday’s main stage schedule also includes Frank Foster, Lindsey Cardinale and comedy hypnotist Eric Kand. The Voice winner Craig Wayne Boyd and Glen Templeton are two artists scheduled to perform on Thursday, while David Phelps headlines Wednesday’s entertainment.

Down by the Branch musical entertainment during the week features Washington Parish sensation Big Daddy O, The Baker Family, The Victory Belles, Right Direction, Stormy, Hogg Heaven, Restless Native Band, Runaway Home, Los Super, Lena Prima, The Sprigs, Primetime and Joel and Bobby.

“Entertainment for this year is some of the best we’ve ever had,” Applewhite said. “It’s going to be exciting.”

Along with fun, food and excitement, the annual fair also brings some road closures and changes to traffic patterns.

According to the Franklinton Police Department, for the week of the fair, 10th Avenue from Howard Street to Bene Street will be one way only into the fairgrounds. This is done to allow emergency vehicles a clear route into and out of the fairgrounds.

There are “No Parking” signs along 10th Avenue, as well as several new “No Parking” areas from 11th Avenue to Ellis Cemetery on Bene Street.

Also, parking on the grounds of Ellis Cemetery is not allowed. Any vehicle parked on the grounds will be towed away at the vehicle owner’s expense.

The fair parade rolls through downtown on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. Washington Street, from T. W. Barker Ave. to 15th Avenue, will be closed at approximately 9:15 a.m. to allow floats to get into East Acres to line up.

At 9:30 a.m., the entire parade route will be closed and will remain closed until the route is cleared. There will be FPD officers, Washington Parish sheriff’s deputies and officers from Rayburn Corrections Center at intersections to monitor the traffic and assist with pedestrians.