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Fair Days return
Kiwanis annual event starts Monday
W FAIR RIDES 06
Spending time with family is one of the best things about the annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, which starts Monday. A mother laughs with her daughter in this Herald file photo from the 2008 Fair. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File
    New rides, new entertainment and more fun than ever await visitors this week at the 48th Annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, which serves seven counties and draws fair enthusiasts from even further away,
    Darrell Colson, who is serving is seventh year as fair chairman for the Statesboro Kiwanis Club, which hosts the annual event as its only fund raiser, said the week looks promising with new attractions and traditional delights.
    "Fair week" kicks off Monday at 5 p.m. with a parade through downtown Statesboro. Parade Chairman Charles Sheets said there are over 2,100 people and 130 units expected in  the parade.
    The fairgrounds open afterwards at 6 p.m.,  with admission being only a can of food, a food staple such as rice or pasta, or $1 to be donated to the Statesboro Food Bank, Colson said. This is a new feature to the fair that is in line with the club's dedication to serving the community.
    "This is our only fund raiser," he said. Around $100,000 annually is filtered back into the community through donations from the club. These donations are funded solely by gate admissions; other income from the fair covers the expansive cost of hosting the week-long event, he said.
    New features this year include The Extreme, a thrill ride that promises screams  and fun; and a ventriloquist act Sylvia and the Magic Trunk, he said. The Crazy Mouse ride and Fearless Flores Thrill Show will return as well.
    One change on the grounds is that canned goods and baking entries will be moved to the produce section of Homemaking Exhibits, due to an increase in entries of produce and a need for more room for arts and crafts, according to www.kiwanisogeecheefair.org.
    There will be the commercial booths in the building near admission gates, and several other displays on the fairgrounds, including Heritage Village with an old country store, beekeeping display, grist mill and antique from equipment display. The Aldrich House, which belonged to a family that still lives a few miles away where the old house once stood, shows a slice of life " back in  the day," when farm life was more rugged. Live farm animals and other displays can be found at the Old Red Barn. Monday, there will be a scarecrow contest at the barn.
    Fried Twinkies, cotton candy, hot dogs, funnel cakes, Italian sausages, pizza, ice cream, barbecue, pancakes - fair food won't be hard to find. Local groups will offer pork skins, fish dinners, candy apples and other delights as well.
    Since the fair is an agricultural fair, there will be several livestock shows throughout the week, Colson said.
    The even is a family-oriented affair, and both Statesboro Kiwanis members and Bulloch County Sheriff's deputies will be on hand at the information booth, a designated area near the midway at the BCSO Child ID trailer, and throughout the grounds, he said. No alcohol, drugs or troublemaking will be tolerated, and visitors needing help should look for a club member ( in a yellow or light blue shirt with Kiwanis logo) or a sheriff's deputy, he said.
    Bulloch County EMS will also be on hand each night next to the information booth, which is directly across from the commercial exhibit building where visitors enter the fair.

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