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1945 Fair Preparations Underway for 2023

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Photo courtesy of 1945 Dade Co Fair – The bubble pit was a hit with the kids in previous years.

The 1945 Fair planning committee is hard at work organizing the 2023 event which is held each year on July 4 in Jenkins Park.

This will be the fifth year that the annual county fair/Independence Day celebration has been held. The inaugural year was 2017, and aside from being canceled in 2020, the event has steadily grown.

Nathan Wooten (event organizer) explained that the fair started with an idea he had years ago. “I was looking for something to do on the 4th of July, and there wasn’t anything unless you went into Chattanooga. If [July 4th falls] in the middle of the week, a lot of people can’t travel, so this gives them a local option.”

He continued, “It started out as a little thing that’s grown into a big thing. The committee for the first year was myself and the leader of the chamber of commerce at the time.” The committee now includes about ten volunteers.

“We start meeting regularly in January,” said Wooten. “I handle the entertainment and a couple of events like the Dade Cup. One group handles the vendors. Joe Smith handles the car show which is now really big. It started with about ten cars. Now, it’s up to about 200 cars.”

The number of vendors has also grown, with the fair anticipating about 100 vendors this year. “Our goal is to attract a lot of local vendors,” said Wooten. “A couple of companies have used it as a hiring event.”

Photo courtesy of 1945 Dade Co Fair – The car show has grown from ten cars to close to 200.

Additionally, attendance has increased, with Wooten estimating that more than 7,000 people attended in 2022.

Thanks to the sponsorship of local businesses and the work of volunteers, the event is free to the public. Wotten explained, “We always try to make it free. No parking fees, no entrance fees, no cost for the events. Vanguard was a big sponsor last year, and the lineman school, Ingles, Food Outlet, Red Fox, Mom and Pops, and so many other local businesses.”

Activities that do come with a cost are buying food from the food trucks, winning a bid in the silent auction, or entering the 50-50 raffle. Local businesses donate items and gift certificates to the auction.

Anyone can buy tickets for the 50-50 raffle throughout the day, and one name is drawn at the end of the day. Wooten reported, “Last year, one lady won $1,100 from the 50-50 draw. The ticket holder gets half, and the other half goes to expenses for the fair.”

Other events include a cake walk, talent show, bingo, games for kids, a softball tournament, and eating contests.

According to Wooten, “The eating contests are a lot of fun. We do watermelon, hot dog, and Moon Pie eating contests. We try to get the local churches involved in the kids games.”

Photo courtesy of 1945 Dade Co Fair – The softball tournament attracts the athletic and competitive in the county.

Wooten and the committee first focus on securing the musical performers. Wooten noted that the lineup is usually near completion in October. Then, the spring months involve logistics, timing, and set-up details for the event.

The entertainment lineup for 2023 is Southwind Bluegrass, Solt, Mechele Berry, Chris Shupe, and headliner Hunter Girl. See the Jan. 11 issue of the Sentinel for further information about the performing artists.

Wooten said he is most excited to see Hunter Girl perform. Notable past performers include T. Graham Brown and Mitch Rossell. Last year, The Forester Sisters opened the day with the national anth

The fair will end with a firework show at around 10 p.m. Wooten noted that the entire day’s activities cost about $20,000, including the money spent on fireworks.

The planning committee is thankful for the help of the City of Trenton and the Trenton Fire Department.” Wooten said, “They have been super in supporting us. They provide first aid.”

Wooten noted that surrounding counties and cities are invited, saying, “We reach out to Chattanooga, Ringgold…This year we’ll reach out to Winchester, Tenn. where Hunter Girl is from.”

The fair’s website,, will continue to be updated as the event draws closer. Visit the site for photos from previous years and details about the day’s activities.

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