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Fair starts five-day schedule

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By Kevin Hanson

The Courier-Herald

King County Fair organizers are hoping some "good, clean fun" and plenty of free entertainment will strike a positive chord with the public.

They'll know for sure beginning today, Wednesday, when the fair opens its five-day run at the King County Fairgrounds in Enumclaw.

Weather remains a driving force behind fair attendance, but there's also a delicate balance between investment and reward. Those responsible for the fair hope this year's approach will be a hit with those who click through the turnstiles.

Once inside the gates, entertainment will be free, with the notable exception of carnival games and rides. In the past, the fair provided big-name entertainment and charged accordingly, a maneuver that was poorly received.

This time around, the names aren't quite so big, but everything is included in the admission price.

"This is a great entertainment opportunity," said Sharon Roberts, fair manager. "We're bringing in top-notch groups and entertainers to offer an array of musical styles for the whole family." She said the emphasis this year was on booking regional talent that came at a lesser price. (For a complete listing of fair entertainment, see page A3. For performance times, visit www.metrokc.gov/fair and follow the appropriate links.)

There will be entertainers performing on one of the fair stages nearly every moment the fair is open.

Aside from live performers, the King County Fair boasts all the attractions fair-goers have come to expect over the years. There'll be farm animals and logging shows, various competitions for adults and children, food vendors and commercial booths where merchants will be hawking their wares.

Enumclaw on display

The Enumclaw community will be represented throughout the run of the fair.

During this morning's opening ceremonies, young Enumclaw singer Anya Holte will perform the national anthem.

Cylas Blues Band - This popular, Plateau-based blues band is in high demand, and the fair has them for two shows. The group will play tonight from 5 to 7:15 p.m. and Saturday from 6 to 7, appearing both times on the main stage.

The Beatniks - The popular Seattle group certainly has a local feel. Drummers Jon Bolton and Daron Wolschlager, who share duties, are both Enumclaw High graduates.

The Enumclaw Kiwanis Club traditionally staffs the beer garden.

New for this year, the Enumclaw High School Key Club will sell root beer floats.

The fair will open every day at 10 a.m. Closing time will be 10 p.m. today and Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices are $7 for those 13 and older and $5 for senior citizens (62 and older) and children (6 to 12). Younger kids are admitted free with an adult. Parking in county lots is $5.

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