Rainy conditions don't deter attendance at East Perry Community Fair

Sunday, September 25, 2011
Preston Miller coaxes mule Hurricane over a jump at the East Perry Community Fair in Altenburg, Mo., on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. (Kristin Eberts)

ALTENBURG, Mo. -- The rain and mud Saturday didn't stop the crowd from coming out to the East Perry Community Fair. The event, which began in 1937, is held annually at the fairgrounds in the middle of Altenburg.

Fair official Fred Eggers said Perry County basically closes down the weekend of the fair so people can attend the festivities. "It's like a regional holiday," he said.

A parade started off the fair Friday. This year it was made up of four high school marching bands; about a half-dozen floats made by schools, churches and other organizations; old and new farming equipment; horses; and area firetrucks. Eggers estimated thousands of people watched the parade.

At the end of the parade were the opening ceremonies followed by a day of livestock judging and weigh-ins. A pedal tractor pull and an antique tractor pull were also held. Friday's activities closed with the Pearl River Band, which plays new country and classic rock.

Saturday started off with the River Hills Run. Carol Winter, a runner in the race, said the name of the race is appropriate because it was all uphill. She described the 4.3-mile event as a challenging and exciting run through pretty country. Carol ran with her daughter, Tori Winter, and Tori's best friend.

In addition to the livestock judging, there were competitions for handmade crafts, baked goods, floral arrangements, produce and photographs. FFA, 4-H and community members took part in the competitions, which were judged before the parade Friday, then put on public display.

A variety of vendors came from all over Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. One booth was run by Donna Terry, of Terry's Embroidery in Jackson. Donna said this was her second year at the fair. She said she likes coming because of the people and the "good country fair atmosphere."

The Whitewater Bluegrass band played Saturday afternoon. Then came the jumping mules competition, followed by the Jackson Municipal Band. The fair concluded with a 4x4 truck pull.

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