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Lee County Fair under way at Civic Center

By Staff | Feb 22, 2013

It had been “making memories since 1924” and has no intention to stop anytime soon.

The 89th edition of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair opened Thursday at the Lee Civic Center and is expected to be one of the best ever continuing through March 3.

There are rides, petting zoos, livestock, lots of food and numerous exhibits both inside the civic center and out, everything that has made the fair the go-to attraction it has been for almost a century.

“It’s always been a family friendly atmosphere. It’s a big draw for long-time people from Lee County and for the newer people coming in,” said Mike Peak, fair organizer.

Among the feature attractions this year was “Sneak Peak Thursday” with the fair opening one night early to give fairgoers a head start in enjoying the rides and attractions.

Returning to the fair is Moonlight Madness, one of the most popular features, on Friday, Feb. 22, and March 1, where for $25 you can ride all the rides you want from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Harry Chapin Food Bank Night is on Monday, Feb. 25, where fairgoers are admitted free with a donation of three canned food items per person.

The next night is 12 Buck Tuesday, with unlimited rides for $12. Wednesday and Thursday are coupon days, with $2 off a ride wristband and $2 off admission with coupon. Regular admission is $12.

There also are several animal presentations, with a sea lion show, alligator wrestling and a petting zoo, and strolling acts like Rock-it The Robot, the Sweeney Brothers, Mark Dobson’s One-Man Band, and Scott’s Magic Show.

Another huge part of the fair is the livestock shows, where members of 4-H bring in the pigs, steer, chickens and other animals to be judged and auctioned off to the highest bidder, with proceeds going to 4-H.

“These kids who are competing, it’s not just a fairtime thing. It’s for the whole year,” Peak said. “We have the livestock sale on March 2 where all their hard work pays off.”

The gates open at the Lee County Fair at noon on weekends, 5 p.m. on weeknights. For more information call 543-8364.