Soky Fair opens Monday night

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Monday evening, workers across the Soky Fairgrounds put finishing touches on their rides, food stands and all other attractions in preparation for the first night of the Soky fair.

The workers have spent the last three months setting up for this week’s fair.

Soky Fair Board President Jim Maroney has been in the fair business for decades, Monday night marking the start of his 30th fair.

He says about 90 percent of the fair money goes towards, back into the community.

“It’s amazing. That’s why I do this,” Maroney said.

Money from the SOKY Fair goes to different places every year, helping out WKU students with scholarships, giving hundreds of children Christmas presents, donating to the bikes for kids program and more.

“That’s probably 500 families a month that are going to have Christmas. That’s probably 1,100 to 1,200 families a month that get fed off of this premises with the Feed America,” Maroney said.

Last year, due to COVID-19, the fair only featured track events with no midway attractions at all. Maroney says on a normal year, they see 26,000 visitors through the week.  Last year only brought 6000 bringing the fair to a budget shortfall of $60,000.

Soky Fair Board Member Alex Marlin and his son Henry are happy the fair is finally back in full swing.

“We’re glad to be back for 2021. Last year was definitely a downsized event. But now, we’re just a couple hours away, so we’re really excited.”

As for where you can find Henry during the fair?

“Is there any corndogs here? I’m gonna go over there where the corndogs are.”

Maroney says the owners of the carnival have had record attendance at every fair they’ve been to this year, and they’re hoping the SOKY Fair will be no exception, so they can continue giving back to the community to the fullest.

“It’s the right thing to do. All of us have been very fortunate in our careers, and we just like to give something back,” Maroney said.

Tuesday, the fair’s big event is their oval track. Fair goers can expect tractor pulls and a demolition derby this week.