The Wilson County Fair set new records in both daily and total attendance this year as the 39th-annual fair went in the books.
According to Wilson County Promotions president Randall Clemons, 136,626 people visited the fair on the final Saturday, which was the most visitors in a single day in the fair’s history.
Clemons also said the fair had 575,047 total visitors, which was the second-largest turnout in history.
Fifteen contestants crossed the stage Monday night at the Wilson County Fair’s premier pageant, Fairest of the Fair, and Addison Grace Oakley won the crown. Oakley is the daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley, of Lebanon, a senior at DeKalb County High School and enjoys kayaking, traveling and spending time with family. First runner-up was Lily Steed, and second runner-up was Olivia Teague.
Laura Whittington, a substitute teacher and mother, described herself as “excited and shocked” at the announcement she won the Great Giveaway on Tuesday night.
Whittington chose a 2018 Chevy Equinox, provided by Wilson County Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and said the car will be a needed upgrade to her family.
“We had been looking for an SUV. It gives [my daughter] a whole lot more space than the vehicle we have right now.
“I thought, ‘There’s so many people. There’s no way we will win,’” Whittington said, as she tried to contain her disbelief and excitement, having never won anything this big.
Concerts also filled the week, sponsored by Bates Ford, that included Ronnie Milsap on Monday night and Buddy Jewell who opened for Confederate Railroad on Tuesday night.
The Wilson County Fair has many attractions from the classic Ferris wheel to fried Oreos and barrel racing, but no attraction may be more popular than a pregnant pig names Squeakers.
Squeakers is an 18-month-old sow who gave birth to 10 piglets on Wednesday night, and six survived. Throughout the fair, Squeakers was seen and continued to be viewed by people from across Wilson County to the Ukraine, Australia, Chile, Ireland and across the African continent, thanks to a live video feed set up by Edwards Feed.
The first piglet born, a male, was named Hale after Hale Moss, longtime Wilson County Promotions president, who died last year. The last surprise piglet born, also a male, was named Randall after Clemons. The other piglets were named after Wilson County Fair staff and volunteers.
The live feed had more than 1 million views, and allowed people from around the world to learn and witness the natural birth of pigs and be able to ask questions and learn about pig and piglet care.
The Wilson County Fair, sponsored by the Middle Tennessee Ford Dealers, will make its return Aug. 16-24, 2019.
Democrat news editor Sinclaire Sparkman and staff writer Matt Masters contributed to this report.