Charities benefit from fairPublished 10:16pm Saturday, September 28, 2013
The Central Alabama Fair isn’t about making money.
In fact, the Lions Club, which puts on the fair, donates nearly all of the money made each year to charity.
Loins Club member and fair manager John Haskell said the organization only keeps enough money to pay for basic expenses, such as electricity and set up costs.
“We don’t allow vendors unless they are non-profit,” Haskell said. “We keep enough to pay for the light bill, but we give all our money back to the community.”
The main beneficiary of the fair will be eyeglasses and optical exams, he said.
The fair opens at 5:30 p.m. Monday and costs $5 for attendees 6 years and older. Children under 5 are admitted free. Rides cost an additional $15.
Many of the fair workers are also volunteers, he said.
Haskell said the Lions Club hasn’t set an attendance goal and is more concerned with providing a positive fair experience than cramming people into the Central Alabama Fair Park on Dallas Avenue.
“If it doesn’t rain, we’ll probably end up with about 15,000 people for the whole week,” he said. “We haven’t really set an attendance goal, but if we don’t have a good fair then we can’t give away any money.”
Preparations for the fair began one day after the 2012 Central Alabama Fair ended, but Haskell said Selma residents might notice increased activity near the Old National Guard Armory this weekend.
Rides and fair personnel will began streaming into the city Saturday. By Monday, Haskell said the fairgrounds would be ready for thousands of Central Alabama residents.