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From near and far

Entertainment always has been a big part of the Citrus County Fair, and this year features lots of national touring acts along with a talented crop of local performers.

Headline acts include the Robinson Family, Tonic Sol-Fa and the Marionette Star Theater.

If a band hails from Kentucky, chances are it will play bluegrass, which the Robinson Family does. But the talented group of musicians also perform acoustic arrangements of songs by the Beach Boys, Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters. The Robinson Family has been touring on the state and county fair circuit for 23 years. The band brings its own performance stage, a red-and-white pavilion, which will be set up near the main gate.

The Robinson Family will perform two shows daily.

With the popularity of boy bands such as N'Sync, the singers from Tonic Sol-Fa may be a big hit with pop music enthusiasts. The quartet has performed more than 200 shows in 35 states in the past year. Their show is packed with audience interaction and energy. The band also has been a big hit on the college circuit for the past two years. It also will perform twice daily at the Robinson Family Pavilion.

The Marionette Star Theater will bring its own performance venue, a two-tier blue castle, for its puppet shows. Marionette artist Lynn Sliski puts on 20-minute shows that feature Little Red Riding Hood and other children's favorites. She said the puppet shows are great entertainment for young children, who may not be able to sit still for an hourlong music show. Her show also features marionettes portraying stars such as Dolly Parton, Sonny & Cher and Gloria Estefan. The Marionette Star Theater performs several times daily during the run of the fair.

Most of the local entertainment takes place inside the air-conditioned auditorium at the Citrus County Fairgrounds.

Gospel music lovers should plan on attending Tuesday, when the fair will have several gospel acts from noon to 9 p.m. The Owens Family Gospel singers from Lake Panasofkee have been singing at local churches, fairgrounds, festival and community events for 10 years. They perform from 6 to 9 p.m. Also performing will be The Gospel Impressions, The Gospel Tellers and David & Rusty.

On Friday, three local rock bands that play mostly original music will perform from 4 to 9 p.m. They are Aberration, Low Arrow and Nascent.

Other entertainment activities include children's games by Citrus County Parks and Recreation from 10:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Friday and virtual reality fishing.

Activites in the animal arenas include a petting zoo featuring Animals In Motion, pony rides and Blaze, the Balloon Blowing Goat.

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