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Posted: September 8, 2009 6:43 p.m.

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Social Circle Fair open until Sept. 12

Photo by Brittany Thomas/

Fun for all ages: The sixth annual Social Circle fair will be running from Sept. 8-12. There will be attractions for guests of all ages, ranging from a merry-go-round, crazy cars, a Ferris wheel and more. There will also be food, games and live mu...

The night sky will be aglow with blinking lights of a myriad of colors, sounds of laughter - and the occasional scream from a ride - will fill the air, and the smells of freshly cooked food will waft gently through the air.

It's that time again. The annual Social Circle fair, sponsored by the Social Circle Rotary, is back.

The fair, which runs from Sept. 8 through Sept. 12, opens at 6 p.m. nightly, except on Saturday, when it opens at 3 p.m. It is set up behind Social Circle High School.

The main attraction at any fair is the rides, and the Social Circle fair does not disappoint. Rides with names like The Tornado, The Sizzler and The Himalaya stand side-by-side with classics such as bumper cars, the house of mirrors and the classic Ferris wheel.

Younger riders also have their share or rides, including a train, crazy cars, clown around and balloons.

A one-day pass wristband of unlimited carnival riding costs $20 at the door, and pre-sale tickets can be bought from Rotarians, the Bank of Social Circle and Pinnacle Bank for $15. Helicopter rides, offered all week long, and pony rides offered on Friday and Saturday, cost extra.

The rides and attractions are provided by McNair Amusements, based out of Loganville.

In addition to the food and rides, the fair will also have live music playing each night. Gospel performers take the stage on Tuesday night. The Social Circle High School band and Rick Harrison perform on Wednesday, the Sandy Creek band on Thursday, the Time Travelers on Friday and the fair will conclude with Southern Influence performing on Saturday. All entertainment runs from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.

All proceeds from the fair go to the Social Circle City Schools Scholarship Fund, which awards between $5,000-6,000 in scholarships each year. The Rotary has also donated more than $10,000 this year to helping teachers afford supplies, and proceeds from the fair will also go towards these funds.

The fair began seven years ago when Rotarian Norm Dillon was looking for a way for the Rotary to make a contribution to Social Circle.

"I was driving down I-20," Dillon said, "and I saw the McNair set-up in Conyers. The idea stuck with me, and I pulled over. I found an older gentleman sitting on a golf cart - it was Hugh McNair."

Initially, McNair wasn't sure Social Circle would draw any sort of crowd. It actually wasn't until later, when Dillon spoke to McNair's daughter, Lisa, that the idea would become a reality.

"'Why didn't I think of that'," Dillon recalls Lisa saying. "She thought of the Blue Willow, and decided Social Circle was a great place for a fair."

After one year of planning, the first Social Circle fair opened to the public in 2003. It was a smash success, that, according to Dillon, Hugh McNair contacted him again and offered a several-year contract to return.

"McNair has made it so easy," Dillon said. "It's a really good partnership."

The Social Circle Rotary, 21 members strong, all work together to make the fair possible - even though it was Dillon, dubbed "Mr. Persistant" by his fellow Rotarians - who truly brought it all together.

"It's a team effort," Dillon said, "We've done a really good job with it, and we're really looking forward to it this year."

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