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Ga. fair attendance tops 500,000, sets new record

More than a half million people visited this year's Georgia National Fair. setting a new record.

Fair officials say excellent weather helped push the attendance to 501,628.

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Perry High School hosts annual college fair

Hundreds of students from Central Georgia gathered at Perry High School Monday morning for the annual Probe College Fair.

Around 70 colleges were on site to speak with parents and students about admission requirements, scholarships, and campus life, among other things.

Many of the students, including Jamir Johnson, said the fair helped to simplify their search.

"I haven't quite decided yet. I have a couple in mind, though. I'm just really looking for a college that has a good law program and then a good student to teacher ratio," said Johnson.

Auburn University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Berry College, and Georgia State University were some of the schools that took part in the event.

FAA denies fair's "no fly zone" request

On Monday, we reported that the Federal Aviation Administration had approved a no-fly zone over the Georgia National Fairgrounds.

On Tuesday, the fair and the FAA confirmed that those flight restrictions were never approved.

The fairgrounds told 13WMAZ this month that the FAA had approved what's called a "notice to airmen" or NOTAM. That would restrict certain aircraft, like drones or helicopters from flying within two miles of the fair and up to 3,000 feet.

Fair Public Safety director Stephen Shimp told 13WMAZ on Tuesday that they were still waiting for approval then.

Ga. National Fair by the numbers

Ready to have your mind boggled? These numbers will make even the most savvy mathematicians' heads spin.

We took a look at the Georgia National Fair by the numbers.

456,023 people entered the 628 acres of the Fairgrounds during the 11-day event last year.

That's not including the 110 volunteers, 70 parking personnel, 50 security officers and 75 police present each day.

And all those folks create a lot of trash. The fairground's staff stocks 600 cans, and people fill them with more than 111 tons of trash.

Let's not forget the electric bill to power all those rides. It typically runs around $60,000 11 days. The water used tops 700,000.

As for the livestock, there's enough to form a small city, or almost 8,000 entries into the shows.

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Presidential Peanut Poll at the Georgia National Fair

You've heard a lot of talk in the past about Iowa's Presidential Straw Poll, but now Georgia is starting its own political tradition at the Georgia National Fair.


Rides and food aren't the only attractions at the Georgia National Fair. Politics will take center stage with a new addition.

"We were dying to come up here, and when we heard about the Peanut Poll, we thought that would be the first thing we would do," first time fair visitor Martha Sullivan said.

She was one of the first to take part in the Peanut Poll, which asks people their choice to be the next president.

It's organized by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Million-dollar roller coaster is fair's newest thrill

Some like to come for the shows. Other come for the food. And some come for the rides.

You have your old favorites like the ferris wheel and bumper cars, but there are some new thrills making their debut this year.

The Galaxy roller coaster is big, bright, and brand new.

"This is our latest super spectacular that we are bringing to the fair," says Richard Reithoffer, CEO of Reithoffer Shows.

He started swinging, spinning, and catapulting people when the fair began 26 years ago.

"We're ride people," says Reithoffer. "We've always been ride people."

Even rooted in tradition, he tries to raise the bar every year. The Galaxy is now the fastest ride at the fair.

Perry man raised, still works at Fairgrounds

Ever heard of Starbuck and Diamond Farm? No? How about the Georgia National Fairgrounds?

The two are one in the same, as the Georgia National Fairgrounds are located on land that was once a farm.

Carlton Green grew up on the property, and for 76 years running, makes a living off the same land.