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Fair opens Friday with 32 Below

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Everybody loves a Fair, at least that's what organizers are hoping for the 2007 version, as they regroup to provide a variety of attractions that they are counting on to spiral attendance figures upwards.

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Manager Wayne Venter, who assumed duties earlier this year, said this year's Fair will offer up plenty of "good old-fashioned family fun" in the form of numerous activities that will cater to all age groups and demographics, including a kid's day and a veterans day.

This year's Red River Valley Fair will kick-off Friday, June 15, and continue through Saturday, June 23, at the Red River Fairgrounds on the west edge of West Fargo, offering free gate admission for the second year in a row, as well as a diverse entertainment line-up including several new attractions - a truck and tractor pull June 17, a motocross show by Freestyle MX.com June 18, and a demolition derby on June 19, all beginning at 7 p.m.

Venter said the free gate admission will be a very important aspect of the event. "There is such a strong demand for the entertainment dollar that we need to show people that there is a very good value here at the fairgrounds."

Fair activities will indeed be plentiful and varied - geared for young and old alike, Venter noted.

Opening night grandstand entertainment on Friday will feature the country-rock band 32 Below in a free concert performance at 8:30 p.m. in the grandstand area. Members of the group, now based out of Nashville, Tenn., are originally from this area. Other grandstand concerts include: guitarist Ted Nugent, June 16, 8:30 p.m.; country singer Joe Nichols and Cowboy Crush, June 20, 8 p.m.; Nashville Star winner Chris Young and country entertainers Julie Roberts and Emerson Drive, June 21, 8:30 p.m.; 'Weird' Al Yankovic, June 22, 8 p.m.; and closing night, June 23, three popular country groups referred to as the triple threat - Blackhawk, Little Texas and Restless Heart, 8 p.m.

Music will also be featured in the Beer Garden area nightly: 24 Seven, June 15; Betty Does, June 16; Bryce Niemiller Project, June 17; Ded Walleye, June 18; The Roosters, June 19; October Road, June 20; The Other Side Blues Band, June 21; The Shakers, June 22; and Holiday, June 23.

The Budweiser Clydesdales will be on display June 15-18 in the ACME Building; and a Draft Horse Show will be featured in Schollander Pavilion at 3 p.m., June 15 and 16. The equine theme will continue throughout the Fair, with horse shows also scheduled daily in the Arena building. Other buildings will be filled with a variety of 4-H and livestock displays as well as a Lego Building Contest in the Arts and Crafts Building at 5 p.m., June 16. There will also be a Petting Zoo, Old McDonalds Farm and Daryl's Pig Racing featured every day. Monday, June 18, will be kids day; Tuesday, June 19, Senior Citizen Day; and Saturday, June 23, Veterans Day.

Visitors to the Fair will also be treated to the Mighty Thomas Carnival, lining the Midway with their exciting rides and Carnival games; a number of "Kiddieland" rides for the children; and there will be plenty of great Fair food, i.e. cotton candy, footlong hot dogs, cheese curds, Indian tacos, you name it.

The popular World of Outlaw Races will not be a part of the Fair this year. They are scheduled to run June 30, with more information at a later date.

The Fair gates will open at 9 a.m. daily and the Carnival at noon, with activity closing nightly at midnight. Building exhibits will close at 9 p.m. and the Beer Gardens will remain open until 12:30 a.m. There will be plenty of free parking available.

Daily tickets are available for any of the concerts at a fee of $20. General admission. Funtics, good for all of the concerts, are available for $45 at the Red River Valley Fair office, the grandstand and all area Stop-N-Go stores. Fantastickets, good for a day of rides on the Midway, are also available at a discounted rate at Stop-N-Go stores. Tickets for the wheeled events, i.e. demolition derby, motocross and tractor pull are $10 each for those 13 and over, and $5 for ages 12 and under. These are also available at the Fair office, grandstand or Stop-N-Go stores.

For more information about the Red River Valley Fair call 1-800-456-6408 or 701- 282-2200, or visit their Web site at www.redrivervalleyfair.com.

khuber@westfargopioneer.com

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