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Jump-starting the fun
Crowds gather downtown to celebrate the 50th Annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair with a parade
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Savannah Davis, 10, right, joins family and friends with Pane in the Glass while marching in Monday's annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Parade. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Today at the Fair
    4 p.m. — Gates open
    ADMISSION — $5. Senior Citizen Night — seniors admitted free
    WRIST STAMPS — $18 each, unlimited rides
    6 p.m. — Market Hog and Breeding Gilt Show
    ENTERTAINMENT — All exhibits open; nightly pig races, Pirates thrill show, performances by the Statesboro High School Steel Drum Band

    Like a magnet, excitement drew a crowd to downtown Statesboro Monday, where the 50th Annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair parade kicked off a week of fun.
    Following the parade, many drifted to the Kiwanis Ogeechee fairgrounds on Ga. 67, where admission was only a can of food or $1 for the Statesboro Food Bank.
    But the fun started along North and South Main streets, where floats, marching bands, classic cars, antique tractors and even a few clowns made their way down the street.
    “We had 2,400 people and 140 units,” said parade chairman Charles Sheets. With a wide smile, he thanked participants for entering the parade as they passed the starting point.
    It was a vastly different day than 2009, when rain canceled the parade. It was the first time in history that happened, but the weather was perfect this year, he said.
    The float theme was “50 Years of Fun: Let’s Party ‘til the Cows Come Home.”  The theme was reflected through a Ferris wheel float from Helen Redding’s School of Dance, a colorful float by Kidovations with a carousel horse, stuffed animals, a ticket booth and Ferris wheel.
    Other floats carried different themes, including a huge yellow high top tennis shoe on the “Walk In My Shoes” float.
    While several classic cars were in the parade, Sheet’s wish came true in the appearance of a yellow 1961 Starliner from Walls Paint and Body shop in Sylvania. The 50-year-old car was created the same year the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair was born, he said.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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