Established in 1855, the Tennessee State Fair's long history includes more than thrilling Midway rides and food on sticks; the festival also features a yearly theme around which events and exhibits center. This year, the fair's theme is "Let the Good Times Grow," an idea embodying the fair's fiscal growth and the locally-grown entertainments it houses. The Taste of Tennessee event, for instance, gathers chefs who craft native cuisines, local bands, and area craft brewers.
The grounds also showcase a range of entertaining shows, from beauty pageants and pig races to dogs performing gravity-defying tricks to catch frisbees. Plus, the Kenya Safari Acrobats return for the 7th year to show off their incredible agility. Should younger visitors feel inspired to step on stage themselves, they can enter the kids' ice cream eating contest; a winner's trophy goes to the kid whose mouth can shovel the most ice cream and whose brain can withstand the worst ice cream headache.