Fall is here, and that means it's time for the annual Queen City Fair.
This year marks "Lucky 13" for the week-long extravaganza that boasts a variety of events and attractions – including a petting zoo, local talent exhibitions and competitions, exhibits, live music, a Little Miss QCF Pageant, a flea market and craft show, interactive agriculture exhibits and much more.
And that's just the free events. New rides (as well as old favorites), palate-pleasing foods and more are also among the offering.
"It's seven days and nights of family fun – from Monday, Sept. 30, to Sunday, Oct. 6," said Len McRae, fair promoter.
New to the fair's Midway Carnival is the super thrill ride "Speed," which McRae describes as "awesome."
"It's the newest, biggest super thrill carnival ride," he said.
Speed is described as primarily a 37 meter arm, connected midway to the main support of the ride. Two sets of two seats are mounted at the end of each arm, back to back. Each four-seat assembly can swing through 360 degrees. The arm rotates at up to 13 revolutions per minute, producing an acceleration of 3.5 g on the riders.
In keeping with the tradition of changing things up to keep the fair fresh, McRae said several new events have been added, including a Queen City Flea Market and Craft Show and the Great Lakes Lumber Jack Show. Crowd favorite Farmer Bob and Johnny the World's Funniest Tractor returns, as well as several popular events.
Each night has a theme, which adds to the fun. The themes for this year's fair are:
• Sept. 30, from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. – Meridian Coca-Coca presents "School Day at the Fair." One free ride with a Coca-Cola coupon, plus free gate admission from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Dollar rides from 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
• Oct. 1, from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. – Best Buy & Meridian Family of Stations presents "The Madden '13 Best Buy Bowl." Facebook Day from 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; check in at the Queen City Fair and receive $2 off gate admission. Super Saver Nite, $12 armbands from 4 p.m-10 p.m. (unlimited rides)
Qualifying begins at 5:30 p.m. for the Madden '13 Best Buy Bowl.
• Oct. 2, from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. – UNITE: Youth Night at the Fair. Cost: $20, includes gate admission and unlimited rides.
Christian praise concerts featuring LoveNow and My Savior Story will be presented.
• Oct. 3, from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. – Mississippi Music presents "Meridian's Most Talented." From 4 p.m.-10 p.m., $15 armbands (unlimited rides). Senior Citizens Day, half-off gate admission for persons 65 and older.
Meridian Most Talented presentation, 6 p.m.
• Oct. 4, from 4 p.m.-midnight – Military Day; half-off gate admission with valid military ID. From 4 p.m.-midnight, $18 armbands (unlimited rides).
Live music on the main stage featuring Scott McQuaig & The Tomcats, begins at 9 p.m.
• Oct. 5, from noon-midnight – Meridian Star Day. Dollar rides from noon-4 p.m. From 6 p.m.-midnight, $20 armbands (unlimited rides).
Local talent, exhibitions and demonstrations, from 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
Little Miss Queen City Fair Pageant, 2 p.m.
Live concert featuring Moe D and Friends, 9 p.m.
• Oct. 6, from noon-8 p.m. – Comcast Spotlight Family Fun Day. Gate admission, $5 from noon-8 p.m. From noon-8 p.m., $12 armbands (unlimited rides).
Sponsors for the 2013 Queen City Fair are: Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Co.; The Meridian Star; Mitchell Distributing Co.; Lauderdale County Farm Supply; Mississippi Music; Back Country RV; WTOK, myTOK, CW; Comcast Spotlight; Best Buy; RockAuto; Impact; and Meridian Family of Stations.
Want to go?
What: 13th Annual Queen City Fair
When: Sept. 30-Oct. 6
Where: Lauderdale Country Agri-Center, 1030 Highway 19 South
Admission: $7 at the gate; kids 5 and under, free. Parking is $2
Information: (601) 934-4865 or visit the website at www.queencityfair.net