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Pulaski County Regional Fair opening ceremonies to be held tonight
SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (June 12, 2009) — The Pulaski County Regional Fair officially begins tonight with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. with a Future Farmers of America scholarship presentation, though initial events were also held Thursday night.

A key change this year is that general admission to the fair is free, though certain events such as bull riding, an ATV rodeo, and motocross racing will charge for admission. Children six and under will still be admitted free to those events, but adults and older children will pay $5 to enter the ATV rodeo and motocross events, and $10 for admission to the bull riding contests.

Fair Board member Mike Chavis said the free general admission is an experiment this year, and will continue in future years if it works well.

“We’ve changed (payment plans) several times through the years; we are just trying to do what works best for the community in general,” Chavis said. “We are hoping this works, it works at other fairs, and if it works we will try it again next year. We try to listen all suggestions.”

Key draws to this year’s county fair include a karaoke contest with an estimated $10,000 in prizes based on admission fees and sponsors, bull riding, the fair’s queen contest, and the motocross races.

The fair contest had trouble attracting contestants, but quickly received at least 18 contestants when fair organizers announced earlier this week that they had only one contestant competing for a crown that also carries financial rewards in the form of scholarships.

Chavis said the bull riding events are always popular and he doesn’t expect the $10 admission charge to deter visitors.

“It is very interesting, it is kid-oriented. They have comedians and clowns, and I like to hang out there as much as I can,” Chavis said. “Jerry Laughlin handles that part and he’s always bragging about the bulls we bring in.”

This year, Waynesville FFA teacher Luke Chapman worked with FFA and Waynesville Technical Academy students to build a permanent bull riding arena that can also be used for other events.

The first day of the fair usually has the lightest attendance, but Chavis said organizers estimate that about a thousand people attended Thursday’s events, which included a greased pig contest, an ATV rodeo, square dancing and the Lonesome Hill Gang bluegrass music group from Steelville.

Rain hasn’t been a problem so far, but Chavis said organizers are prepared with a mix of indoor and outdoor events.

“We haven’t had a year yet that it didn’t rain; we always expect it,” Chavis said. “Things have gone very smoothly so far and we need to thank the city (of St. Robert) for helping us get things put up out here.”

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Pulaski County Regional Fair events:

Friday: Carnival opens 5 p.m., events held 4 to 11 p.m.
4:30 to 5 p.m.: Poultry/rabbits check-in
5 to 6:30 p.m.: Poultry/rabbits open show
5 to 6:30 p.m.: Riverberry Players music
6 to 7 p.m.: Opening ceremonies, FFA scholarship presentation
6 to 8 p.m.: Queen pageant (in building)
6:30 to 7 p.m.: Music by Nashville recording artist KC Johns
7 to 9 p.m.: ($10 admission) Hangin’ for 8 Extreme Bull Riding
7 to 9 p.m.: FFA challenge
9 to 11 p.m.: Best of Midwest karaoke contest finals

Saturday: Carnival opens 2 p.m., events held noon to 11 p.m.
8 to 10 a.m.: Lamb/hog/steer weigh-in
10 to noon: Untamed Tuners car show registration
Noon to 3 p.m.: Lamb/hog/steer show
1 to 5 p.m.: Quilt show
1 to 4 p.m.: Car/truck/motorcycle show judging
5 p.m.: Car show awards
5 to 6:30 p.m.: Karaoke Kids (age 15 and under)
6:30 to 7 p.m.: Music by KC Johns
7 to 9 p.m.: ($10 admission) Hangin’ for 8 Extreme Bull Riding
7 to 9 p.m.: FFA challenge
8 to 9 p.m.: Glow Show (tentative)
9 to 11 p.m.: Best of Midwest karaoke contest final

Sunday: Carnival opens 1 p.m., events held noon to 4 p.m.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Motocross practice
Noon to 1 p.m.: Pie contest check-in
1 to 4 p.m.: Benefit dinner/gospel singing
1 p.m.: Pie contest judging/auction
1 to 3 p.m.: Lonesome Hill Gang bluegrass music from Steelville
1 to 4 p.m.: ($5 admission) Motocross races

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