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Organizers decide on $5 gate fee

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No more freebies at the Red River Valley Fair gate - unless you've planned ahead.

The fair will once again charge a gate admission, Manager Bryan Schulz said at a news conference Wednesday.

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The $5 gate fee comes after two years of free admission to the fair. Schulz said a gate fee makes sense, given that other fair-type of events in the area - like Fargodome's RibFest - charge a cover.

"We think it's well worth the money," he said of the nine-day fair scheduled to start on June 13.

Fair officials considered a $2 fee but decided it would not raise enough money, Schulz said. He wasn't sure what the projected income would be with a $5 fee, but former fair manager Wayne Venter said after last year's event that a $2 door fee could raise $175,000.

Though admission fees were lifted in an attempt to boost crowds, Schulz said he does not expect a cover to keep people away. The gate fee will be free each weekday from 11 to 2, Schulz said, and advance tickets to grandstand events will come with free gate admission.

Schulz also unveiled the entertainment lineup for the fair on Wednesday. A couple of country rockers and a trio of vintage metal bands will bookend a week of motor and rodeo events. Country veteran Travis Tritt, former Fargo country-rock band 32 Below and a bill of metal acts will perform in weekend concerts.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. shows will be $20 in advance or $45 for all three. At-the-gate single-show seats will also be $20 but won't include admission.

The all-concert passes will be $40 until Friday at 4:30 p.m. and can be purchased at the fair office in West Fargo. They can also be ordered via phone by calling the fair office at (701) 282-2200. Tickets can also be bought at Stop N Go stores starting Monday.

Tickets for the rodeo and motor events will be $12 a night in advance or $14 at the gate and will begin at 7 p.m.

Fair schedule

- June 13, 32 Below

- June 14, Travis Tritt

- June 15, tractor pull

- June 16, demolition derby

- June 17-19, bull riding

- June 19, sprint car racing

- June 20, Friday Night Races

- June 21, Dokken, Slaughter and Blue Öyster Cult

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