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Fair attendance on the rise
101007 FAIR RIDES 1
The Extreme ride, left, leaves a manic trace of lights as opposed to the easy-going ferris wheel Wednesday night at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair.
    Admissions and midway ticket sales for the first three days of the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair increased over last year. Both Statesboro Kiwanis Club members and Amusements of America officials expect cool, clear weather, paired with the fact that the last three days of the fair are usually the busiest, will lure record numbers out to enjoy the fair.
    Every year during "fair week" the Amusements of America employees provide the meal for the Statesboro Kiwanis Club's weekly meeting. This year the "fair fare" included fried chicken, deviled eggs, Italian sausages, onions and peppers, barbecue, corn on the cob, green beans and potato salad.
    Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson was a guest of the club and returned the compliment when club president Lovett Bennett Jr. thanked him for the security services his deputies provide the fair each year.
    He also said there has been no trouble so far this week.
    "Your group, the people on the midway, our fellows - we've always worked well together," he said, referring to deputies teaming up with AMA employees and Kiwanis members to make sure the fair remains a safe family event. "It's been a good week so far. We've escorted zero people out, had zero fights, zero arrests."
    But with the crowds predicted to double in size for the last three days of the fair, Anderson said there will be additional law enforcement on  the fairgrounds to help ensure any trouble will be handled.
    "I think everybody over the years realizes we don't put up with a lot," 'he said.
    The Georgia State Patrol has been very helpful in assisting with traffic control, he said, publicly thanking them for the help.
    Darrell Colson, 2007 Fair Chairman also spoke to the club and said gate admissions were up by three percent over last year for the first three days of the fair, and midway ticket sales were higher than last year as well. He reminded club members the second half of "fair week" will be more crowded and more club members would be needed to help operate the nightly events.
    Dominic Vivona, owner of Amusements of America, has been a guest at the Kiwanis meeting for most of the 29 years the club and the company has partnered together. He had praise for the club, the community, and  the fair.
    "Every year it seems to get just a little bit better," he said. "We bring in the show but you are the support cast. I see things here I don't see at other fairs. It takes a lot of work and dedication and I'm proud to be a part of this fair."
    Vivona introduced several employees, many of whom are also his family members.  His brother Phil Vivona told club members this was his second visit to Statesboro and talked about the new rides on the midway.
    "I'm happy to be back," he said. "Most of our fairs are family oriented, but this one seems to be really on the ball. We hope we will be here for many years to come."
    He talked about the new Rock and Roll ride that is similar to " a modern Flying Bobs," and the Extreme ride, which has smoke billowing up as riders are spun in several directions at once.
    "We're kind of proud of our show," he said. "Thanks for having us here."
    Colson reminded everyone that the Fearless Flores Circus and Thrill Show would have a different program the last three days of the show, so folks visiting earlier in the week will see a different show if they return today or Saturday.
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