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Friday, April 8, 2011

Let the fair begin!


Carnival workers assemble a carousel Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Eustis. The Lake County Fair opens at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 7, and closes on April 16 EUSTISL FL, Thursday, April 07, 2011 THERESA CAMPBELL Staff Writer theresacampbell@dailycommercial.com Elephant ears, corndogs, funnel cakes, carnival rides, 4-H exhibits, livestock shows and the chance to see racing pigs. It's all part of the fun that begins 5 p.m. today when the 90th annual Lake County Fair opens its gates. A beef breeding show kicks off the livestock activities at 6 p.m., while Lee Ann Noel Band will entertain with two free performances tonight and Friday at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. "It's all good, clean family entertainment," C.E. "Happy" Norris, fair manager said. The fair will run through April 16, with weekend hours of 1 to 10 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. weekdays. He believes the fair has something for everyone, including 35 carnival-style rides and a variety of "fair cuisine" that Norris admits that he can't resist. "I do like the elephant ears and caramel popcorn," he said, adding food vendors also will be at the fairgrounds with pizza, barbecue foods, sausage sandwiches, fried veggies, and even deep-fried candy bars and deep-fried Twinkies. "It looks like we're going to have good weather," Norris said, pleased by nice weather forecasts, which he hopes brings out the crowds. More than 66,000 people attended the fair in 2010. "We're hoping around 70,000 this year," Norris said. Some 600 animal exhibits -- goats, steers, poultry, rabbits, swine -- will featured throughout the fair, along with a horticultural show, fine arts, creative arts, photography exhibit, talent show, pageant, and open-mic nights. During the fair's beginning 90 years ago, it began as an event to entertain and educate the local residents, and the exposition grew to provide an atmosphere for county residents to compete on a local level with their crafts, exhibits and livestock. Nine decades later, the mission hasn't changed. Lake County Fair continues to promote agriculture while entertaining folks at the same time. IF YOU GO WHAT: The 90th annual Lake County Fair WHEN: Today through April 16. The fair is open 5 to 10 p.m. weekdays; 1 to 10 p.m. weekends. WHERE: 2101 County Road 452, Eustis

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