Rutledge celebrates 30th fair

RUTLEDGE -- The city of Rutledge will celebrate a milestone this weekend and is inviting everyone to join in the fun.

The 30th Annual Rutledge Country Fair takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the downtown area.

This year's event, hosted by the Rutledge Merchants Association and city of Rutledge, will feature a variety of demonstrations and activities aimed at both the young and young at heart.

"This year's fair will be lots of fun and entertaining for guests of all ages," said Michael Hughes, fair chairperson. "We've reached out for more participation from groups with an emphasis on kids and we've changed the layout of the fair to put the children's activities in one larger location."

Demonstrations will include a snake show hosted by Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center and a K-9 demonstration. All kids demonstrations and shows will take place at a new staging area in front of Rutledge Baptist Church and activities will spread down West Main Street.

The 11 a.m. parade is always a popular event, and "is so much fun that it circles around the city and comes back through again. This way all our guests can see everybody in the parade from both sides and see what they missed the first time," Hughes said. University of Georgia mascot Hairy Dawg will be the grand marshal and will be available after the parade for photos.

In addition, an old car show and swap meet will be staged from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the new Rutledge Park on Fairplay Street and hosted by the Rutledge Fire Department.

Artisans will sell their wares in the downtown park, where informational booths about various organizations will also be available.

There is no charge for admission, but there will be a fee for activities such as inflatables and a climbing wall, as well as food.

Free entertainment will be provided by a folk group, a tuba quartet and, from 1-4 p.m., by Tim Cadiere, with his group, Wash Board Road.

"It couldn't be much more simple. It's just simple country life," said Joellen Artz, a member of the Rutledge Merchants Association, of the fair's appeal.

Rutledge is located 3 miles north of I-20, off exit 105.