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Clinton County Fair returns with emphasis on more for less

MORRISONVILLE The Clinton County Fair will return for its 61st year, with a major emphasis on providing more entertainment for less money. The fair will return to the Clinton County Fairgrounds Tuesday, July 22, through Sunday, July 27, with six days of low-cost, family-oriented fun, said fair manager Glenn J. Gillespie. With the state of the national economy and gas prices surging past $4 per gallon, Gillespie said it was of the utmost importance to keep events at this years fair affordable. People are struggling, said Gillespie. Were trying to make this a good community event where people can come in and not spend a bundle. Thats why most of our grandstand shows will cost only $2. As another means of keeping costs down for fairgoers, the Mega Pass, first offered last year, will return. The pass, which is sold in advance at Bizarre Bazaar at Champlain Centre in Plattsburgh and Price Chopper stores in Plattsburgh and Champlain, will mean big savings, said Gillespie. The Mega Pass allows you admission to the fair any one day of the week and includes rides all day long, explained Gillespie. And, if you buy your Mega Pass at Price Chopper using your AdvantEdge card, they take another dollar off the price. The passes go on sale Monday, June 23, and will be available until the start of the fair. The price of admission to this years grandstand events will also be kept at an affordable level, said Gillespie. The grandstand and stage, which will be sponsored by Northern Car Crushers Stage and Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, will feature shows that will kick off on Tuesday with Team Danger's Motorcycle Stunt Show, sponsored by Eagle Country 97.5. The $2 cost of admission will include a show filled with motorcycle jumps, four-wheel ATV jumps, a wheelie show, human battering ram stunt and a performance by King Kong Knievel, which starts at 8 p.m. The event will be followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. On Wednesday night, the grandstand will feature a street legal truck pull, also sponsored by Eagle Country 97.5. The event is back for its second year due to an overwhelming response, said Gillespie, and will be a $2 admission. Thursday night will feature a performance by Terry Lee Goffee, a Johnny Cash tribute artist whom Gillespie said gives an amazing performance that echoes the late Johnny Cash. Gillespie, who also serves as the president of the New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs, said he first learned of Goffee at a state convention in Rochester as he watched him audition for another fair. I was in the back of the room and I had to get out of my seat to see if this guy was really singing Johnny Cash. If you had your back to him, you would swear it was really Johnny Cash, he said. I cant say enough about this show. People have to see it. Admission for the event, sponsored by Econo Lodge and WOKO 98.9, is also $2. The Van Dells, a 1950s and 1960s music and comedy act, will take the stage at the grandstand Thursday night at 8 p.m., also for an admission of $2. Their performance, sponsored by Econo Lodge and WIRY Hometown Radio, will be paired with a car show sponsored by Champlain Valley Classic Cruisers, with trophies awarded for the best in show. The Adirondack Tractor Pull will return this year on Friday night at 6 p.m. Admission will be $5. The event will be sponsored by Dragoon's Farm Equipment, Noble Environmental Power, New York State Electric and Gas, and WOKO 98.9. On the final day of the fair, the annual Demolition Derby will return for two shows, to be held at 1 and 7 p.m. Admission will be $6 per show or $10 for a pit pass for admission to both shows. The event will be sponsored by Budweiser and Kool 105. On opening day, admission will be $2 for ages 4 and older with the donation of one nonperishable food item for the Plattsburgh Interfaith Food Shelf. Wednesday will be Childrens Day at the fair, with free admission for children ages 11 and younger. Wristbands will also be sold for unlimited rides all day, courtesy of Reithoffer Shows, for $18 each or $17 with a coupon. A similar offering will be held Thursday night with Evening Madness as wristbands will be sold for $15, allowing wearers unlimited rides from 7 p.m. to close that night. On Friday, the fair will host Senior Day, offering discounted admission for senior citizens ages 62 and older. Friday will also be Special Day for Special People, with free admission for the mentally challenged and half-price admission for counselors and guardians, with proof of group required. Wristbands will be sold again for unlimited rides all day. The fairs tradition of offering free daily shows will also continue this year, with six shows to be held throughout the grounds in all. Shows will include performances by childrens entertainers Granpa Cratchet and Buffalo Barfield, B & C Ranch Adorable Animal Actors, Pipsqueak the Clown, hypnotist Michael Blaine, and an exhibition by Mark Tyoe, a chainsaw artist who will offer his works at an auction on Sunday. Other events will include daily 50/50 drawings, harness racing free at the grandstand Tuesday and Wednesday and a karaoke challenge with a Saturday night finale, as well as horse shows, cattle shows and numerous 4-H exhibitions. A returning favorite will be a nightly sawdust pile where people of all ages will be able to hunt for coins hidden in a large pile of sawdust. Gillespie said $100 in coins is hidden each day before the start of the contest leading to great anticipation prior to the event. The main support for the hundreds of activities at the fair is due mainly to the generosity of its sponsors, said Gillespie. Many sponsors will have exhibits of their own, ranging from car dealers to housing manufacturers and seemingly everything in between, he said. The fair is also a way for people to come in and support North Country businesses, said Gillespie. There will be brand-new technology on display from heating homes, which is a big thing now with oil prices this year. These vendors will be set up to show you how you can save money. And theres usually lots of giveaways. Local bands will also perform throughout the fair, with acts including Flashback, Just Us, The Roy Hurd Show, Group Therapy, Misty Creek, The Cold Brook Ramblers with Whitey and Flo, Nite Train, Fiddling Friends, Lita Kelly and Jay Lesage, and Rhythm Mean. The fair will also include its renowned variety of food, including fried dough, sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers and, a North Country favorite, michigans. Theres something for everyone, said Gillespie. The fair will be open daily with events starting as early as 7 a.m. Opening ceremonies for the fair will be held at 6 p.m. July 22. Events continue to be added to the list of what the 2008 Clinton County Fair will have to offer. For a complete list of displays and a schedule of events, including ticket prices, visit www.clintoncountyfair.com. The Clinton County Fairgrounds are located off State Route 22 B, three miles north of the city of Plattsburgh.

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