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Pinellas County Fair is on the way

Cattle, pigs, chickens and rabbits will be displayed and prize bakedgoods, needlecraft, woodwork, flowers and photography exhibited at the 1990 Pinellas County Fair.

The annual fair is planned from March 28 through April 1 at the Wagon Wheel Flea Market, 7801 Park Blvd. Fair coordinator Cindy Summers said organizers are working to make the fair "a bigger bargain than ever."

Admission is $3 for those age 10 and older. Children younger than 10 will be admitted free. A five-day pass is available for $12.

Advance, half-price fair tickets will be on sale at the flea market office beginning this weekend, Ms. Summers said. In addition, free tickets will be issued for senior citizens and high school students (through the Pinellas County school system) on March 28 and for youngsters age 10 to high school age March 29. Also on March 29, fair organizers will observe "church day" by allowing free admission to anyone bringing a church bulletin.

Coupons for rides will cost $8 and may be used from opening time to 6 p.m. or from 6 p.m. to closing each day. Hours are 1 to 11 p.m. March 28 and 29, 1 p.m. to midnight March 30 and 10 a.m. to midnight March 31 and April 1.

This is the fifth time the fair has been at Wagon Wheel. Several new rides have been added, including a 100-foot Ferris wheel. Parking is available.

The fair began at the Largo fairgrounds, moved to the Sunshine Speedway and then to its current location on Park Boulevard between Belcher and Starkey roads. Ms. Summers said attendance had dropped to fewer than 40,000 during the final year at the Sunshine Speedway.

During the first year at the Wagon Wheel, "it was more than 50,000," she said.

She said attendance last year was more than 105,000.

Continual entertainment will be offered by local groups performing on two stages. The Mike Miller Band, the Impacs and Robin Pitts are among the scheduled performers.

In addition to musical entertainment, shows will include the All-American Lumberjack Show; the Nerveless Knocks with shows featuring helicopters, a high-pole act and the skywheel; the Educated Monkeys; a water ski show by "Hal Elgin's Aqua Maniacs," and a Jet Ski and wet bike show.

All the water shows will be performed on a 20-acre lake on the fair property.

A variety of food will be available.

The deadline for exhibitors is March 1. Various exhibit categories are offered for adults and young people, and special exhibits of Future Farmers of America and 4-H projects will be presented.

Demonstrators also are needed.

All entries must have been completed during the past year, and must have been made by the exhibitor. All exhibitors must be residents of Pinellas County.

New exhibition classes this year include artistic cake decorating (judged entirely on appearance - items need not be edible); silk flowers in categories of artistic arrangements, centerpieces, wall hangings, baskets, vases, and other arrangements; special holiday classes, and glass items.

The fair is planned and organized each year by the Pinellas County Fair Association, a non-profit corporation.

Volunteers are needed to work in the exhibit hall and the country store. For information, call 541-6941.