Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Fair Revels in All-Things Manatee | from Big Entertainers to Pig Races and Crafts, Something for Everyone

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Fair Revels in All-Things Manatee | from Big Entertainers to Pig Races and Crafts, Something for Everyone

Article excerpt

101ST COUNTY CELEBRATION

MANATEE COUNTY -- This weekend's cold snap does not worry Daniel West.

"The forecast looks great for when the fair will be," West, manager of the Manatee County Fair, said Friday.

Today through Thursday, when the annual festival of all-things Manatee County begins at 5 p.m., West and his staff and volunteers will be working tirelessly to get everything ready for what could possibly be a record turnout.

Last year, the fair attracted

163,700 visitors. The highest attendance occurred in 2012, with more than 172,000 guests. "We had impeccable weather that year," West said. And he hopes for a repeat of those clear skies and comfortable temperatures.

As it always does, the fair -- which will celebrate its 101st anniversary -- offers a diversity of activities and entertainment.

Here is your guide to the festivities:

[broken bar] Location: 1402 14th Ave. W., with the main gate at 17th Street and 14th Avenue.

[broken bar] Parking: $5 at the fairgrounds, Palmetto High School and Church on the Rock. Free parking at Blackstone Park.

[broken bar] Regular admission: $8 for ages 13 and older, $7 for ages 55 and older, $5 for military with identification, $5 for ages 6 to 12, free for children 5 and younger. Depending on the day, armband admission to the Midway rides ranges from $15 to $22.

[broken bar] Opening day admission: $4 for ages 13 and older, $2 for ages 6 to 12, free for children 5 and younger.

[broken bar] Kids Day admission: Free between noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 16 for youth with student IDs.

[broken bar] Free Admission Day: Courtesy of PalmettoBuild, an organization of churches and faith-based organizations, admission will be free from 5-10 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a canned food donation for the Food Bank of Manatee.

[broken bar] Senior Day admission: $5 for seniors 55 and older on Jan. 18.

[broken bar] Entertainment: Country musicians Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (West says they "packed the place" in two previous appearances at the fair) perform Jan. …

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