Source: The Associated Press – News-Leader.Com

SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri State Fair officials say attendance at this year’s event was up 8 percent over last year’s fair.

Final figures released Tuesday show 337,851 people attended the 11-day fair this year, about 27,000 more than in 2008.

Fair Director Mark Wolfe says cooler weather and reasonable costs helped contribute to the increase in attendance.

Opening day was the most well attended day, with nearly 55,600 fairgoers taking advantage of dollar admission and specials.

The second year of a recycling program on the fairgrounds also was successful. During a pilot program last year, less than 1,000 pounds of plastic and aluminum were recycled. This year, an expanded program brought in more than 18,000 pounds of recyclables.

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Source: By Rick Whelan – The Beacon Herald

There’s something magical about the annual fall fair — the way it seems to be the official harbinger of … duh! … fall!

What I mean is … before those merry-go-round horses start prancing up and down and before the teenage screams accompany the whirling, twirling Zipper, it’s summer.

But after the fall fair has come and gone, the temperatures seem to drop precipitously and there’s something in the air that whispers “Make every day count, pal … because those snowsqualls and endless sidewalks that need shovelling are just around the corner!”

For about 10 years now my fall fair excursions have centred on our grandchildren. There’s nothing quite like seeing those simple, enduring attractions through the eyes of unspoiled youth.

The bumper cars, the cotton candy and the smell of fried onions wafting through the crisp fall air.

And then there’s the walk home … as the little ones chirp excitedly about their favourite ride and I trail slightly behind, my empty wallet spread open like a flayed flounder as I think, “No! C’mon … really! Where the heck did that hundred dollars go?”

My granddaughter Lauren spotted the towering ferris wheel as we approached the fair this year.

“Look, Grandpa! The ferris wheel!! Look how big it is! Will you take me on the ferris wheel when we get to the fair? Huh? Huh? Will you, Grandpa? Willya?”

My palms suddenly were sweaty. I’ve never been good at heights … especially heights constructed in a few hours by a group of men who have been driving a truck all night and whose powers of concentration may be somewhat diminished.

About half an hour later, as ride tickets grew soggy in an increasingly sweaty palm, we stood at the foot of the wheel. Lauren gazed upward. I chose not to.

Before I knew it, we were climbing aloft. “This isn’t so bad,” I thought to myself. Lauren excitedly waved to Mommy and Grandma way down on the ground. I chose not to.

Then, of course, the inevitable part of wheel-riding came. We stopped at the very top. Our little brightly coloured gondola swayed in the wind.

“Why are we stopped, Grandpa?” Good question.

As the ride concluded (it was actually kind of neat!) I was touched by the tender way the grizzled carnie lifted Lauren out of her seat and gave her a semi-toothed smile.

Carnival workers have always kind of fascinated me. I mean … where do they all go after fall fair season? They have chosen a hard life … one with little opportunity for a family or any real personal life or the occasional lazy Sunday afternoon.

I bet it’s always Monday morning in a carnival workers’ life. If they’re not working the rides, collecting the tickets or pitching in when some unforeseen technical glitch presents itself, they are either breaking down or setting up a ride or driving a ride truck to the next date.

Carnies have been the butt of many jokes and snide comments over the years. I myself took a swipe at them just a few paragraphs ago. But I’d like to apologize.

I’d like to atone by saluting the carnies of the world.

They are the last of the rough-and-ready individuals who work hard and no doubt play hard and whose choice of lifestyle makes our annual fall fair extravaganzas possible!

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Source – 33TV.Com


DALLAS – 24 days of fair rides and fair food are just not enough! Not according to State Fair officials. And not when the green line is bringing people to Fair Park.

So now get ready for the summer of 2012!

That’s when the Texas Star may get it’s chance to shine during the summer months starting that year.

Sue Gooding, Vice-President of Public Relations for the State Fair if Texas said, “In 2012, opening what we’re now calling Summer Place.”

The Midway will be that place for a line-up of summer fun to include rides like the Texas Skyway, some other mainstays, and some new rides, if everything goes as planned.

Gooding said, “We want everybody to come out, pitch in and make this the greatest State Fair of Texas we have ever had.”

For Summer Place to take place, the fair is hoping for a banner year of profit.

So far, opening weekend appears on target. So the State Fair is planning to buy a giant space needle.

Then the next year, they’ll buy a roller coaster.

And they plan to work with the museums at fair park to give visitors a package deal.

State Fair Visitor Jennifer Haynes said, “That would be a great idea so we wouldn’t have to go all the way to six flags, it would be something for the little ones like this one to do.”

And state fair officials are counting on the green line to get some of them here.

But don’t expect the entire fair experience. The fried banana peanut butter and jelly sandwich would be reserved for the 24 days of the state fair.

None of the deep fried goodies during the summer. State Fair visitor Mark Kitchen said this about the fried foods: “But this is what makes coming out here.” Gooding with the State Fair said, “We want to keep products distinctively different”

During the summer, the midway would have other fair foods such as corn dogs and funnel cakes.

Kitchen disagreed, “I can see their point, but coming out to the midway and not having a morsel of this, that would be a disappointment.

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Source: Monika Rued – Today’sThv

Sheriff’s investigators have arrested two Baxter County juveniles for allegedly selling fake ride tickets for the Baxter County Fair and Carnival.

Archway Amusements, which operates the carnival rides and games at the Baxter County Fair, contacted the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday after realizing they had duplicate ticket numbers.

Investigator Brad Hurst interviewed several students. He found that at least 37 fraudulent ride tickets had been scanned and printed at home on a personal computer by a school student. These tickets were then taken to the junior high school and sold to other students for cash.

The two boys, 14 and 15, face theft by deception charges in juvenile court.

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