As the reality of a new school year settles in for students, they can look forward to an event cherished by millions of people across the country.
The Tennessee Valley Fair is officially in full swing for its 93rd year. It began Friday and the fun will regrettably end on Sunday.
Everything, from the crowded parking area to the shouts of pleasure within the gates, boasted of a grand time.
Games include the water aim race, where for $5, anything from giant teddy bears and stuffed pigs can be won. Another popular attraction is the balloon dart. Prizes that catch the eye are adorable ducks and Smokey dogs decked out in Tennessee football attire.
The basketball hoop contest can't be left out, either. For about a dollar per hoop, one can test their skills, but a deal can be bargained if a reasonable vendor is found.
Aaron West, 20, a worker of Wade Shows Carnival, has traveled with the company for two weeks. He has only worked with the vendor in Tennessee, but is looking forward to the next stop in Georgia.
He comments that working for the carnival "is a lot of fun." When asked what his favorite part of the new job is, he said "I like giving away prizes."
Perhaps a more exciting aspect of the fair can be experienced on the fair rides. Names such as the Zipper, Tilt-A-Whirl, Silver Streak and Ring of Fire light up to grab the passerby's attention.
Other attractions such as an airbrushing stand that designs personalized hats and shirts are available.
Zarick Alexander Harper, 37, has owned his 'Flawless' airbrushing company for about ten years and has been traveling with the fair for five.
"Seeing different places all over Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and North Carolina," is what Harper enjoys most about his job.
Tourist places such as Panama and the "beach scene" are Harper's favorite memories while traveling.
If planning a trip to the Valley Fair, be sure to try the variety of food.
Corn dogs, funnel cakes, deep fried Oreo balls, red candy apples and delicious types of ice cream are just a taste of what the fair offers.
A particular vendor claims the red velvet funnel cake is a must-try, with the chicken tenders being another excellent choice. Rinse it all down with a tasty lemonade or refreshing water to finish off the meal.
The spirit at the Tennessee Valley Fair is sure to attract UT students this year.
After exhaustion from the rides and trying out the food, grab a bench. Better yet, sit down by the lake and enjoy a serene view.
Jennifer Tipton, 24, who is a registered nurse at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, certainly recommends it.
Tipton was born and raised in Knoxville and attended Pellissippi State Community College. She comes every year, and has been coming with her family since her elementary school years.
"Always getting cotton candy and a candied apple," is a memory Tipton cherishes. "I think people come from all different counties just to come to the Tennessee Valley Fair."