About the Alabama National Fair

Directions

From I-65:

Take Exit #173, Northern Blvd.
Follow Northern Blvd to Coliseum Blvd., (State Coliseum Sign) and turn Right. Go to Federal Drive and turn right and you will be at the Alabama Agricultural Center (Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Drive, 36107).

From I-85:

Turn right on Eastern Blvd, Exit #6. Follow Eastern Blvd. to Wetumpka (231) Exit and turn left. This is William L. Dickinson Drive. Proceed to fairgrounds.

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Daily Event Schedule

Each day is different at the Alabama National Fair! Check out the schedules for the 1o best days of fall!

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Parking

There are five different parking lots at the fair that are open for the public’s parking. The south parking lot, north parking lot, farmer’s market, and two parking lots at the livestock entrances. Parking is a first come first serve basis. There will be NO reserved parking. Parking is $5 for each vehicle for each night.

Safety & Security Measures

The Alabama National Fair’s security program will include the aid of metal detectors and A CLEAR BAG POLICY and bag checks at all entry gates. CLEAR BAGS CANNOT BE LARGER THAN 12″ X 6″ X 12″. Bags, purses, coolers and packages will be subject to search at each gate. Prohibited items include weapons, pocket knives, fireworks, alcoholic beverages, drones and bike/skateboards/skates/hover boards (these items will be taken and will NOT be returned, so please leave these items at home or in your vehicle). Other items may be refused at the discretion of the Alabama National Fair management or police. The Fair has also adjusted safety procedures in several other areas including security staffing levels, vehicle access, traffic management and video.

Use or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on fairgrounds. Intoxicated persons may be refused entrance or excluded by police.

Anyone wearing clothing or jewelry or other personal items that fair management and/or law enforcement deems offensive or gang-related will not be allowed on the fairgrounds. Exceptions and challenges will be answered at the discretion of Fair management and law enforcement.

Shirts and shoes are required at all times.

Seguridad & Securuty Mide

El programa justo nacional de la seguridad de Alabama incluirá la ayuda de los detectores de metales y UNA POLÍTICA del BOLSO y un bolso CLAROS comprueba en todas las puertas de la entrada. LOS BOLSOS CLAROS NO PUEDEN SER MÁS GRANDES DE 12 ” X 6 ” X 12 “. Los bolsos, los monederos, los refrigeradores y los paquetes estarán conforme a búsqueda en cada puerta.Bolsos, carteras, refrigeradores y paquetes serán sujetas a la búsqueda en cada puerta. Artículos prohibidos incluyen armas, fuegos artificiales, bebidas alcohólicas, drones y bicicleta/patines/patinetas/hover boards. Otros artículos puede ser rechazada en la discreción de la Feria Nacional de Alabama o de gestión policial. La feria también ha ajustado los procedimientos de seguridad en varias otras áreas, incluyendo los niveles de dotación de personal, seguridad, gestión del tráfico de acceso al vehículo y el vídeo.

Uso de la posesión de bebidas alcohólicas está prohibido en los recintos feriales. Las personas ebrias podrá ser denegada la entrada o excluidos por la policía.

No se permitirá en el recinto ferial a nadie que vista ropa, joyas u otros artículos personales que la administración imparcial y / o la policía considere ofensivos o relacionados con pandillas. Las excepciones y desafíos se responderán a discreción de la administración equitativa y la aplicación de la ley.

Se requieren camisas y zapatos en todo momento.

Our History

Fairs and agricultural exhibits are an old and honored tradition in Montgomery, dating back to at least 1854, 100 years before the present Alabama National Fair was established. The pre-Civil War fair was sponsored annually by the Alabama State Agricultural Society, on grounds “beautifully located upon the banks of the noble Alabama River, occupying a large, level, grassy plain, to the north of the city, ”as described in an 1858 issue of Harper’s Weekly.

That fair and its successors declined during times of war and economic troubles, and by 1930, fairs and agricultural exhibits had disappeared from Central Alabama.

The idea for a new exposition came in 1954, when the brother of a Montgomery Kiwanian looked at the busy construction site of Garrett Coliseum and said, “You know, you really ought to have a fair here.”

Within a few months, Montgomery Kiwanians had traveled to Macon to get a first-hand view of fair operations and had established the South Alabama Fair Association Inc., with a slender budget of $500 borrowed from the Kiwanis Club treasury. Kiwanians were motivated to make their venture a success, many had pledged personal funds to cover any losses from a failed fair venture. Their combined energies and talents resulted in a net profit more than $20,000 that crucial first year, and the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery was well on its way to

becoming synonymous with a festive October celebration that returns year-round benefits to the community.

Some recipients of Kiwanis Club contributions funded by the Fair include: Boys and Girls Clubs, Brantwood Children’s Home, Camp ASCCA, Children’s Harbor, Cleveland Avenue YMCA, Inspector Detector, Landmarks Foundation, Montgomery Area Council on Aging,  Montgomery Area Food Bank, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Montgomery Public Schools‘ Reading is Fundamental, Girl Scouts, Group Homes for Children, and Father Walter’s Resurrection Catholic Mission.

As the Fair has grown, its name has changed to reflect its increased size. In 1969, the South Alabama Fair became the South Alabama State Fair.  In 1997, in recognition of the fact that many fair participants visit from out-of-state, the name became the Alabama National Fair.

The Fair remains an independent, self-sustaining, non-profit corporation, and is not an agency of the State of Alabama. While the Fair Association receives some support in the payment of prize money from state and county participation, the Fair Association provides most of the money that is paid out in prizes, and operates independently of the State and any other fair.

Virtually all members of the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery utilize their abilities and time in support of Fair activities. Business people serve on committees; lawyers, architects, and engineers lend their professional skills, and most Kiwanians come to the fairgrounds and actively work as admission ticket takers on the gates and on a myriad of other essential committees. The spouses of Kiwanians also donate hundreds of volunteer hours each year.

The purposes of the Fair have not changed since its operation began: namely, to put on an educational fair directed to the uplifting and building of youth; to promote Alabama industry, agriculture, and livestock; to encourage artistic and cultural pursuits among citizens of all ages, and to give everyone, at least once a year, an opportunity to have a great time at the Fair.

Through the 63 years of the Fair the General Managers have been Mr. Bill Lynn (deceased), 1954 – 1982; Ms. Hazel Ashmore, 1983 – 2003; Mr. Russell Melton, 2004 – 2006; and since 2007, Mr. Randy Stephenson who is still the current GM.

Past presidents of the Fair, in addition to Mr. Jimmie Pruett, Sr., are: Mr. Graves, 1955; George Preiss, (deceased), 1956; A. B. Covey, 1957; George E. von Gal, Jr., (deceased), 1958; W. Lyle Hinds, (deceased), 1959; Ben R. Heninger, (deceased), 1960; William F. Thetford, (deceased), 1961; J. T. Nolen, Jr., (deceased), 1962; Karl E. Albrecht, (deceased), 1963; Charles W. Summerour, (deceased), 1964; L. C. Henley, (deceased), 1965; William A. Kent, 1966; N. J. Bell, III, 1967; W. B. Patterson, III, (deceased), 1968; John M. Ashley, Jr., (deceased), 1969; Charles M. Thompson, 1970; Robert W. Grant, 1971; Robert W. Miller, (deceased), 1972; John Walter Stowers, 1973; James G. Pruett, Jr., 1974; Truxton Northcutt, (deceased), 1975; Earl E. Jackson, Jr., (deceased), 1976; James W. Bailey, 1977; Thomas P. McCabe, (deceased), 1978; Jack Rainer, Sr., 1979; Thomas C. Nolan, (deceased), 1980; William L. Noll, Jr., (deceased), 1981; David H. Smith, (deceased), 1982; Jack D. Jackson, Jr., (deceased), 1983; Thomas K. Albrecht, 1984; Charles C. Hubbard, 1985; Drayton N. Hamilton, (deceased), 1986; Jack Rainer, Jr., 1987; Wayland Nobles, 1988; James A. Andrews, 1989; Charles R. McDevitt, 1990; George A. Garzon, 1991; Todd Strange, 1992; John W. Davis, 1993; Lynn A. Gowan, 1994; John W. Evans, Jr., 1995; James H. Farrior, Jr., 1996; H. E. Cauthen, Jr., 1997; Charles A. Harris, III, 1998; Richard H. Dorrough, 1999; John H. Wilkerson, Jr., 2000; Shapard D. Ashley, 2001; Paul E. Flagg, 2002; Russell S. Dunman, 2003; John P. Galassini, Jr., 2004; W. Ronald Drinkard, 2005; Timothy N. McInnis, 2006; Reese McKinney, 2007; Eugene C. Crane, 2008; Arthur D. Baylor, 2009; Ann Collister, 2010; E. Fred Woolard, (deseased), 2011; Edward G. Reifenberg, 2012; Robert H. McGaughey, 2013; John L. Baker, 2014; Les Massey, 2015; Daniel Stallings, III, 2016; Keith Norman, 2017; Shawn Cole, 2018; Huey D. Thornton, 2019.