Upcoming fall events and the beginning of the new school year were on the agenda of the Aug. 7 meeting of the Lonoke Area Chamber of Commerce, held at the Lonoke Depot.

Chamber vice president Adam Starks stood in as moderator – executive director John Garner was at home, recuperating from surger; president Sonya McCall had professional commitments that prevented her from attending; no report from Little Rock Air Force Base was made because community liaison Lt. Col Dawson Brumbelow was on temporary duty elsewhere.

From news reports, Col. James Dryjanski was made the new commander of the 314th Airlift Wing on July 31; former commander Col. Scott Brewer will move to a new post at the Pentagon.

Chamber members accept new member Paul West, doing business as Burnin’ to Please, a barbecue food service.

Chamber event coordinator Bill Ryker said the 12th annual Chamber of Commerce Shoot for Fun will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 13 at the Remington Gun Club, on Arkansas Highway 15 near the Remington plant.

There will be events for children with BB and archery ranges; for children who can shoot, there will be child-size shotguns available.

Lonoke School District coordinator Amanda Rather, High School Coach Doug Bost and Junior High coach Darrick Lowery spoke about some of the preparations for the coming school year.

Rather told of the renovations under way at the schools, with assurance that the temporary air conditioning at the Primary School would be operating. The new cafeteria units have arrived and are in place

There are 17 new teachers at the schools, "They come from all over the state," Rather said.

She reminded that parents need to ensure immunizations are current, and that shots can be updated at the county health department if not at a family doctor.

Bost said he is excited about having all three coaches on staff – Greg Waggoner, Catherine Moore and Greg Watson.

Lowery said football practice had begun Monday – with 56 on the roster, most made the effort to be at the school to begin practices. Generally, those who did not come were prevented by circumstances, not because they did not want to, he said.

Many of the players worked on their own to acclimate to the heat during the summer break.

During the break, the team attended to team camps, one at Ouachita Baptist University and at Conway High School. Both camps pitted the Lonoke team against challenging teams.

The junior high teams are building on the success of the past two seasons with back-to-back conference championships, "We are looking for our third one this year; we have a very chance of doing that."

Pictures of the junior high practices will show the letters "TCC." Lowery said. "It means Trust, Care and Commitment." It pairs up with the character education program to instill these attitudes in everyone, he said. "We started with ‘Trust’ this week."

For those who need to watch some football, there will be a scrimmage with Maumelle on Aug. 26, with the opening game at Lonoke on Sept. 4 against Beebe.

"We would love to see all you out there."

Trent Eilts, speaking for the Lonoke County Fair Association, spoke of the upcoming 74th annual County Fair, Sept. 17 - 20. The County Fair Parade will be 5 p.m., Sept. 18, at Lonoke.

Advertising is available for businesses on the County Fair insert that will be placed in newspapers and distributed in other venues, Eilts said. Deadline for advertisements is Aug. 16. Email is advertise@lonokecountyfair.com

Businesses can also set up booths in the Commercial Building. The Commercial Building is air-conditioned, and is available for event throughout the year, Eilts said.

Booth space in the building is $150; the outside space is $250; electric is available for the booths, he said.

During hot weather, people tend to come inside to linger and talk, Eilts said.

The educational exhibits give everyone a place to display food, arts, crafts and other handmade items, and be in consideration for Fair ribbons, Eilts said. More information on placing an exhibit will be in the fair catalogue.

Fair events begin with the various pageants, 9 a.m. Sept. 13, held at the Fairgrounds Pavilion, with Little Mr. Lonoke County Fair (zero to six years), Miss Tiny Tot, Miss Baby Princess, Miss Princess, Tiny Miss and Little Miss Pageant (one day to nine years).

Then at 1 p.m. will be Young Miss, Jr. Miss and Miss Lonoke County Pageants, for 10-21 years old, begin at 1 p.m., followed by Miss Lonoke County Fair for up to 21 years, and Ms. Lonoke County Pageant for 22 years old and over.

The carnival portion of the County Fair begins Sept. 17 with the gate opening at noon. Gate times will be noon to 11 p.m. through Sept 20.

Armbands for unlimited carnival rides will be available 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. Wed. through Friday, and on Saturday, 1 p.m. - 5 p .m. and 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Complete schedule of events can be seen at the County Fair Website, www.lonokecountyfair.com

Events on Sept. 20 include the horse and mule pull, 4-H and FFA livestock judging contest, children’s pet show; crosscut saw contest, lawn mower races, and talent show.

The Educational and Commercial building, for displays and exhibits, will be open 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sept. 17 - 19, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 20.

After the meeting, members signed get-well cards to be sent to Garner.