Got a ticket to ride?

Published 11:59 pm Monday, October 5, 2009

By BUSTER WOLFE

The Selma Times-Journal

SELMA — The Central Alabama Fair cranked up the Ferris wheel, fried up the Cozy Dogs and opened the gates Monday night for the 53rd time as young and old fairgoers enjoyed Youth Night.

The fair continues through Saturday, opening at 5:30 p.m. today with the Pepsi-Dixie 100 Miss Central Alabama Fair Beauty Pageant at 7 p.m.

Steve and Bobby Wheeler were meeting their family at the fair Monday night.

New to the fair was 11-month-old granddaughter Riley Windham, who came with the Wheelers’ daughter, Emily Windham of Demopolis.

Other family members from Wetumpka were expected to meet up with the Selma contingent.

“We’ve been coming to the fair for 26 years,” Bobby Wheeler said. “I don’t know that Riley is going to get too involved. We’ll be lucky to get her on the carousel.”

Fair rides included the usual thrills, with names like Predator, Sizzler and Scooter, which is the bumper cars.

And Moby Dick offered riders a stomach-twisting vertical lift with a circular motion.

James Howard of Selma was enjoying the bumper cars with his children.

“Was there any road rage? A little bit,” said Howard, who added that he attends the fair every year.

The fair is sponsored by the Selma Lions Club and the Alabama Department of Agriculture Center Board at Lions Fair Park. The fair is observing its anniversary this year in coordination with the 57th annual Industrial Show.

On Wednesday, the fair opens at 2 p.m. for WAKA 8 Kids Day. Ride armbands are $14. From 2-5 p.m. only students through high school are admitted free at the gate.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Armory a musical “The American Bandstand” will be performed by Meadowview and Cedar Park elementary schools, followed by the Dog and Cat Contest sponsored by the Central Alabama Animal Shelter at 6 p.m..

Thursday the Fairgrounds opens at 5:30 p.m. A Tribute to Elvis featuring Steve Freeman and George Finley will be from 5 to 7 p.m.

Selma Civitan Club president Ben Holifield said business had been brisk for the Cozy Dogs and cold drinks.

“It’s good because the night goes by a lot quicker,” he said. “Monday is usually our biggest day of the fair unless it rains.”