Fall is making its way back to Bastrop and with it the Northeast LA Cotton Festival and Fair which will be held Wednesday, September 12 through Saturday, September 15.
The Cotton Fair has been going on for almost 65 years and has a theme attached to each one. This year's theme is “Trash to Treasure,” in which people are encouraged to make something new from discarded items.
“We want people to bring stuff to display that others threw away and they made something new out of,” said Fair Grounds Manager Jo Ann Blazier.
The Cotton Fair will span four days and the gates will open at 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Arm bands are $20 from Wednesday to Friday and $25 on Saturday. Thursday will be Senior Citizens Day, Friday will be Kindergarten Day for the Morehouse Parish Schools. Saturday will be Kids Day and children from toddlers to 12 years will get in free from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The fair will have fun of all sorts including rides provided by Mitchell Brothers Amusements, food such as chicken on a stick, fried oreos, and funnel cakes, and many different displays.
“We have our exhibits: quilting, canned goods, and crafts,” said Blazier.
Booths are available for those wanting to display crafts and other items or to promote political campaigns. Craft booths are $60 for inside and $50 for outside. Political booths are $100. Exhibits must be set up on September 9 and 10.
“We still have plenty of booth space for anyone bringing arts and crafts or political ads, anything like that,” Said Blazier.
Entertainment will be provided in the Boots Farrar Pavillion Wednesday through Friday at 7 p.m. nightly and on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively. This will include the Murphy's Law Band, the Hawkin's Family Gospel Choir, the Hard Times Country Band, Earl Duke, and Grayson May. Many of these are local, though Murphy's Law is from Monticello.
“Grayson May is from Bastrop, and sang last year,” said Mrs. Plazier. “He's performing for Kid's Day.”
There will be many other special events for Kids Day on Saturday including a treasure hunt, pumpkin decorating, ring toss, and bait casting. The 4-H'ers will sponsor a pet show and archery contest.
Throughout the fair days, there will also be a Cotton Kids Photo Contest for kids from infants to age four. The submitted photo must be an 8 x 10 close up in a standing frame. The child's birth certificate must be presented with the entry, and entries will be accepted from now to September 7. Entry forms can be picked up at the Fair Grounds or Arnett's Jewelry.
The fair will be well secured by the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office. Safety is a top priority.
“It will be a safe and friendly atmosphere, and we want everyone to feel welcome,” said Blazier. “The Sheriff's Department does an excellent job on our security.”
The city of Bastrop looks forward to this year's Cotton Festival, and people are encouraged to come out and display items or just have fun.
For more information or to purchase a booth call the Bastrop Fair Grounds at 281-1406.