UT Extension News: The State Fair Moves Next Door

July 21, 2021

By Chris Hicks, County Director – UT Extension Smith County

It seems like folks have been talking about the future of the TN State Fair for my entire career. While I don’t know all the details that went into the decision (which I’m sure included money, politics, and various other factors above my pay grade), it has been a forgone conclusion for some time that the State Fair would be moving from its longtime Nashville home. The primary questions were not “if” but “when” and “where.” 

We now have answers to both, as the State Fair is moving to neighboring Wilson County to be held in conjunction with the Wilson County Fair. The renamed Wilson County Fair – TN State Fair will be held August 12 – 21, 2021, at the James E. Ward Agriculture Center in Lebanon. 

Having the State Fair next door will provide exciting opportunities for our farmers, families, and 4-H members to showcase their outstanding crops, projects, and talents. Future plans include a “Made in Tennessee” building with room for every county in the state to showcase agriculture in their county. 

Those who won 1st place or Best of Show in certain categories during the 2021 Smith County Fair will be able to compete at the 2022 State Fair Best of Tennessee Championship Awards next year. So, hang on to all those first-place photographs, crafts, and sewing exhibits!

For this year, State Fair competitions will include Hay & Field Crops. Regardless of whether you participated in the Smith County Fair this year, you are still welcome to enter your hay, field corn, soybeans, or tobacco in the State Fair. Entries will be taken at the Rowland Barn in Fiddlers Grove on Monday, August 9 from 12:00 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Those interested in entering their field crops can pre-enter by calling me at the UT Extension office at 615-735-2900 or by emailing me at cbhicks@utk.edu. You can bring your hay from either a square bale or a round bale. Your round bale sample should fill a 13-gallon trash bag. I will deliver entries to the fairgrounds on Monday, August 9, so I need hay entries at the office by the week prior and other crop entries first thing that morning. 

I’m excited about the opportunities that having the State Fair next door will bring! For more information on the State Fair, check out their website at wilsoncountyfair.net