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  • Atlanta Northcutt

When the fair went wild

By: Atlanta Northcutt -- Reporter for the Southern Standard

TWRA officer Jason Ramsey holds a large rat snake that’s one of several nonvenomous snakes which was exhibited inside the building in 2019. - photo by Atlanta Northcutt

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency opened a new permanent structure at the Warren County A&L Fair in 2019 to showcase exhibits Unfortunately, the TWRA building will have to wait another year to reopen its doors due to this year's shut down of the fair.

Construction of the building took two years to complete. With ramps providing handicap accessibility to the TWRA building and freshly painted walls and wooden floors, the new structure was one of the most anticipated additions to the 2019 fair.

"We wanted to modernize the building and make it more up to date, as well as fix the flooding issue which used to occur in the older structure,” said TWRA officer Jason Ramsey.

Live exhibits included nonpoisonous snakes from around the region, including garter snakes, water snakes and corn snakes. The snakes were provided by Tennessee Tech University. The 2019 booth did not have a critter feature, but the concept was expected to be added again in 2020. With the entire fair cancelled, the critter feature is among the many exhibits closed.

“In the old fair booth, we used to have a critter feature each year. We had a different live animal to put on display,” said Ramsey. “At some point, we might incorporate that back into the booth, but right now, the only live animals will be the snakes and fish.”

Two large aquariums housed a wide variety of species of fish with one of the aquariums being located in the window to allow viewers to see the fish when the booth wasn’t open.

Replications of the largest recorded small-mouth and large-mouth bass caught in the area hung on the wall, listing the facts and statistics regarding the fish. 

Two black bears, a raccoon, turkey, wild hog, beaver, otter and a mounted deer head were a few of the taxidermy animals available for public viewing. 

Posters, diagrams and pamphlets were displayed throughout the room providing a plethora of information and data involving the animals, wildlife and outdoor activities within Middle Tennessee.

“We are really looking forward to the opening of the new TWRA building,” said long-time fair president, the late Kenneth Medlen. “It is one of the most exciting attractions to come to the fair.”

Although this year's Warren County A&L Fair has been cancelled and the TWRA's special showcase exhibit has been closed, the 2021 exhibit will be new and even more improved and appreciated, along with the fair itself.

A special section of the Southern Standard will run Sept. 18 celebrating all of the past unforgettable and magical moments from Warren County's A&L Fair.

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