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County fair's whirl returns this week

Cindy Huntley looked across the expanse of green grass and started pointing.

"It'll start here, go down through there," she said, waving a finger toward the Pinellas County fairgrounds.

The fair is on its way. Opening day is Tuesday, when admission will be free and rides will be 50 cents from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Closing day is March 30.

Along with musicians, games and concession stands, the fair will offer $3-million in new rides, said Huntley, who runs the fair with her family. One, the Sizzler, "tosses riders around like eggs in a frying pan," a flier promises. The Pinellas County Fair Beauty Pageant and baby contest will be Saturday.

A helicopter trapeze act is also in the offing this year. The helicopter will hover above a lake on the fairgrounds while acrobats perform on a bar hanging beneath it.

"One of the things we're doing differently is student tickets," Huntley said. Students will receive a voucher granting them one free admission on any day except Friday or Saturday.

Once they are inside the fairgrounds, 7901 Park Blvd., rides and other attractions cost extra.

The fair wraps up with a special for kids.

"We'll have a little Easter bash" March 30, Huntley said. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. children and their parents will get in free, and children's rides will be no charge.

For information, call 541-6941.