Club preps for 55th annual fair

Published 5:00 am Friday, July 27, 2007

Exchange Club Park has been swarming with activity the past fewevenings as members prepare for the thousands of guests who willdescend upon the park Saturday for the club’s 55th annual fair.

“We estimated we had 10,000 people through here on Saturdaynight last year,” said Bob Morris, club president.

The Exchange Club Fair runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. each nightuntil Aug. 4. After kicking off Saturday night, the fair will beclosed Sunday and resume on Monday night.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Morris said little has changed since the 2006 event.

“We have new asphalt everywhere and we’re constantly makingimprovement and repairs to the rides,” he said. “(The asphalt) wassomething we needed to do for a number of years and we finally gotit done.”

Ride safety has been the focus of upgrades this year, Morrissaid. The brakes and safety features on nearly every ride have beenenhanced.

The only “new” ride is the Tilt-A-Whirl, Morris said, but thatwas introduced during the last fair.

Additionally, the fair will continue to offer the standardfairway games, such as the football throw, duck pond, Wheel ofFortune, darts, milk bottle toss and others.

“These are things we do repeatedly year in and year out,” Morrissaid.

The Exchange Club will also be raffling a four-wheeler with allproceeds to benefit child abuse prevention.

Child abuse prevention is a cause heavily supported by the clubeach year, Morris said. In addition to other donations, the localclub helps support McComb’s Southwest Mississippi Center for AbusedChildren.

The club also sponsors a new school scholarship each year to alocal graduating senior.

“Each year we’re actually funding four people because it takesthat long for them to go through the process,” he said.

Morris praised the willingness of volunteers to step forward andhelp the members prepare and operate the fair.

The club has 54 members, he said, but many are older and unableto perform many of the needed tasks to build rides and prepare thepark for the throngs of guests.

“We really appreciate the work our volunteers do,” he said.”Without them coming in, we would be unable to put this fairon.”

Morris estimated 35-40 people have stepped forward to assistthis week.

“The fair has come a long way since its first years,” he said.”We started on a small scale and gradually expanded over the years.It was wood frames with cardboard walls back then. Now we havepermanent buildings.”

Money made during the fair is used to improve the park andmaintain its facilities.