Special Needs Day at the Clinton County Fair is another big hit

Posted June 29, 2023 at 8:51 am

With another edition of the Clinton County Fair now in the books, this week’s Clinton County News contains several photos from events of last week’s fair.
While most of the events are viewed by the public, one  now long running event is not seen, nor, for the most part, known about, by the general public.
For the seventh year  now, the Clinton County Fair has hosted Special Needs Day.
Fair Board Member Kelly Guffey sent a few photos, and a report about what has become her favorite day of each Clinton County Fair.

“We started Special Needs Day seven years ago when Forever Young Amusements was our carnival,” Guffey reports.  “We hadn’t ever really heard of it before, but they always did it so we gave it a shot and it turned out to be the best thing I ever was a part of.
“We invited Horizon, Clinton County Care and Rehab, and Brighter Futures Therapy Center.  We also, because a couple of counties around us either do not have a fair (Pickett) or do not have a carnival (Cumberland), invite Pickett County Care and Rehab, Just Family, and Cumberland Valley Manor.
“We also reached out to local families that we are aware of who have special needs kids or adults that do not go to a center.
“They show up at 10:30 and ride the carnival rides until noon.  The carnival is able to slow rides down (although the riders have never wanted them to slow them down cause we have learned that they love to go fast) and they also do not use music or the flashing lights due to possible sensory issues, seizures, etc.  Casey’s Rides has been with us for two years now and have always done a great job with them.  Their workers are always willing to help load them on or off rides, etc.
“Once noon rolls around, they come back here to the main building and have lunch.   This year we did a picnic type lunch with sandwiches, etc.  Once that is over, we have all sorts of stuff for them to do.  This year, we had a really oversized set of checkers for them to play, a face painting station, and an extremely competitive BINGO game with all kinds of prizes.
“We had a group of young ladies and gentlemen who came and helped with the entire day: Moriah Moons, Loren Little, Evan Little, Jonna Upchurch, Valarie Latham, and Kendall Hay.  They did everything from help make sandwiches to paint faces and play checkers.
“Bam’s Petting Zoo, which was set up this week at the fair, provided free cups of feed for all of the attendees to have who wanted to go through the petting zoo and feed the animals.
“This is something that will forever be a part of Clinton County Fair. This year, we had upwards of 50 folks who came and had a great time.”
Kelly Guffey
Clinton County Fair Board