Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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September 20, 2013

ETSF opens to rain

Events continue through Sept. 29

Athens — The 2013 East Texas State Fair opened its 98th annual run to rainy skies in Tyler on Friday.

The gates will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Sept. 29 with rides, entertainment and contests. Fair officials are estimating 280,000 people will attend this year. Tickets are $5 for children ages six to 12 and $8 for anyone 13 and up. Children under age-five can attend for free. Anyone can also purchase an all-day ride pass for $25. The fair is located on State Highway 31, near the Tyler Rose Garden.

Live bands will take the stage each night at the main stage. The headliner Sunday night is Lacy Carpenter and the Southern Swing Band, performing from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Carpenter, a classically-trained violinist, sings, plays the fiddle and the mandolin on songs with kind of a modern bluegrass sound.

North American Midway Entertainment will provide the 40 rides for the fair. Other attractions include Sinbad and his high-dive team with several performances each day. The world’s tallest performing unicycle, with Wade Henry aboard, can be seen at the fairgrounds. Fairgoers can also attend the Great American Frontier Show which will give everyone a look at the Wild West.

Among the competitive events this year is the photography contest, and a pair of Henderson County residents were listed among the winners. Samantha Smith of Athens took first place in the 13 to 8-year-old division for landscape and architecture. Janis G. Bullard of Eustace won first place in landscape and architecture for ages 60 and up. She also took second place in her age group for human interest photography.

The ETSF Livestock Show annually draws entries from Henderson County. The fair has both open and youth divisions.

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