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Fair board optimistic about 2003 version

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As it did last year, a parade from Maumee High School to the fairgrounds on Key Street will kick off the Lucas County Fair, which begins tonight and runs through Sunday.

FRASER / BLADE Enlarge

Livestock, vegetables, and crafts exhibitions are just some of the events at the Lucas County Fair this week.

For the first time, the fair will include a salute to military veterans at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the grandstand. Wood County country singer Mike Mitchell will perform patriotic music, and a speaker will honor the veterans. Veterans with military identification will get into the fair free all day.

Another new event is CedarCreek Church's Christian worship concert, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in the grandstand.

That could draw 5,000 people, fair board member Dennis Lange said.

Mr. Lange expects a performance by country singer Mark Wills to help draw more people to the fair as well.

“He pulls pretty good crowds,” he said.

The fair board has increased the amount spent on advertising “to remind people it's there,” Mr. Lange said.

He said he hopes the campaign will help boost attendance above the 50,000 to 60,000 mark as in each of the last few years, he said.

The fair begins at 7 tonight with a parade from Maumee High School, on Saco Street, to the nearby county fairgrounds on Key Street. Opening ceremonies follow the parade.

The Great Lakes Timber Show, with log-rolling lumberjacks, takes place next to the midway throughout the afternoon and evening each day.

A cheerleading contest is set for 5 p.m. Friday in the grandstand, with Mike Mitchell entertaining the crowd between the acts.

Events on Saturday include a tractor pull at 2 p.m. behind the grandstand and a concert by the 1980s rock band Loverboy at 8 p.m. in the grandstand.

On Sunday, the demolition derby is at 1 p.m. behind the grandstand.

Mark Wills performs at 7 p.m. in the grandstand, following Mike Mitchell, who opens at 6 p.m.

Patrons entering the fair before 1 p.m. today will be admitted free, but must purchase a $4 stamp if they want to go on rides. After 1 p.m. today, and for the rest of the fair through Sunday, admission is $7 and includes rides. The rides are open from noon to 5 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to an hour after the gates close tomorrow through Sunday.

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