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Parade thrills crowd; officially kicks off fair week
101308 FAIR PARADE 01
The Cheer South All-Stars put on a show in front of the Bulloch County Courthouse on Main Street Monday during the Ogeechee Kiwanis Fair Parade. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Bands and beauty queens, floats and funny faces, dogs and horses and lots of kids walking, tumbling and waving at the crowd made up the 47th Annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair parade Monday evening.
    Local law enforcement leaders driving the newest patrol cars were near the front of the pack, and the Bulloch County Courthouse float, carrying a host of county commissioners, followed.
    Shining vehicles carrying local political candidates or advocates of presidential candidates cruised past, intermingled with military vehicles representing various military branches.
    Dance troops and karate/tae kwon do groups marched past bystanders lined up along North and South Main streets, eager to see the sights as the parade rolled past. Many brought portable chairs or perched on brick borders beside businesses while others stood, craning their necks to see what was coming next or reaching for candy, flyers or novelties parade participants were handing to them.
    As the Georgia Southern University band prepared to begin the two-mile march, the drums rolled, the beat vibrating loud enough to be felt inside, like an extra heartbeat. GUS the Eagle, the GSU mascot, rode in a golf cart behind the band.
    Antique tractors puttered along and classic cars brought oohs and aahs from admirers.  Statesboro Herald Kidsville's Truman the Dinosaur jiggled and giggled in the back of a pickup truck,  and Habitat for Humanity's float bragged "Growing Bulloch County One House at a Time."
    The parade's theme was "Conserving our Agricultural Heritage." Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin was grand marshal.
    The Statesboro/Bulloch County Humane Society walked several rescue dogs — and one large dog walked another smaller one, prompting Statesboro Kiwanis Club member Dan Foglio to comment on "dogs walking dogs" as he and Herald reporter Phil Boyum gave a running commentary during the parade while the event was broadcast live on Herald Web site www.statesboroherald.com.
    Believers Church reflected the parade's theme in their float, a barnyard scene promoting "ethanol, biodiesel and research."  Other floats also had agricultural themes, including Farmers and Merchant's Bank with the FMBee,  boasting "We've Been Growing Green for Years."
    Southeast Bulloch FFA students, wearing hard hats and tool belts, rode a float featuring an old wooden barn made from materials taken from a 1920's hay barn, according to a sign posted on the back.
    A cardboard Elvis accompanied by some of his famous tunes advertised Trinity Christian School's upcoming "Fallapalooza" event, and at the tail end of the parade, a handful of local riders showed off their horses as they  pranced along, bringing an end to the hour-long event.
    The Kiwanis Fair grounds opened at 6 p.m. Monday, with free admission for everyone. Entertainment for the night was the William James Eight Grade Band and Statesboro High School student Danielle Sinclair.
    Tonight, the fair opens at 4 p.m., with wrist stamps sold for $18 each. The wrist bands allow unlimited rides and are only good for the night they are purchased.
    Senior citizens are admitted free tonight. The John Brown Band will play from 7-10 p.m.

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