John Rose, chairman of the TSAF board, said board members, fair staffers and others were asked to suggest considerations for this year’s theme.
“Over a period of three to five weeks, we managed to collect several very good nominations. But in the end we came to a consensus on the theme ‘Tennessee Proud’ submitted by one our board members because we believed it stated so clearly what the Tennessee State Fair espouses to the thousands who attend each year,” Rose said.
He said the State Fair, a Tennessee tradition for more than 150 years, has continually been focused on “what makes Tennesseans proud of their state.”
The State Fair, Rose said, is an educational experience, as well as an entertainment venue.
He said, while the fair provides family entertainment in the form of exciting rides and a colorful carnival, it also affords the opportunity for fairgoers to see close-up “how Tennessee farmers produce their livestock and grow their crops; how bee keepers tend to their hives; why some country hams are judged to be better than others; and how local home gardeners can make the best of their efforts.”
He added the State Fair is also where the state’s best apple pie is wins a blue ribbon, where artisans from one side of the state to the other exhibit their crafts and talents and where on Saturday children between the ages of 5 and 10 can bury their faces in a tub of ice cream to compete in an ice cream eating contest.
TSFA board member Deborah Varallo, president and owner of Varallo Public Relations in Nashville, nominated the theme.
The State Fair, held annually at the Nashville Fairgrounds, will open Sept. 8 for a 10-day run. For more information about the State Fair, including sponsorships, competitions and exhibits, visit tnstatefair.org.