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Lee County Fair finishes up with strong weekend

By Staff | Mar 6, 2018

The 94th Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair had another great 11 days, with the final weekend bringing the best weather and the biggest crowds throughout the day and night.

Friday’s Moonlight Madness once again packed people in, as did Saturday and Sunday, which featured Florida Agriculture & Horticulture Day on Saturday and a Last Blast Sunday special, with $20 wristbands for rides until closing at 10 p.m.

Although the numbers were not official as of Monday morning, Fran Krone, fair manager, expected the fair to at least reach last year’s record number of 109,000.

There are many reasons people go to the fair. Some enjoy the great (though maybe not the healthiest) food, while the kids like to play the games and ride the rides.

There were also numerous shows people can enjoy on the fairgrounds or in the civic center. David Weatherhead brought along his lumberjacks for the annual lumberjack show, which seemed to combine the skill of woodsmen with the audience participation of pro wrestling.

There was also Billy “Elvis” Lindsey, who has been one of the top Elvis impersonators in the country for more than 20 years, who spent 11 days singing the hits the way only Elvis can to Southwest Floridians of all ages.

“My first Elvis concert was in 1974 at Notre Dame University. I like to see the joy on people’s faces who are in pain every day. It’s gives them a chance to escape,” he said. “I like to do the Vegas and older Elvis, but I song all his songs.”

And then there were the entertainers who are a bit more local.

Melody Lane Performing Arts Center of Cape Coral has made the fair a required stop during its short history, said Ginger Lynn, one of the owners.

“It’s a nice family atmosphere. We have staging, plenty of room, and our family and friends can see us and the kids can enjoy the fair,” Lynn said before the team took the stage inside the civic center. “We do gymnastics, ballet, tap, contortion and some singing.”

There to watch were Susan Tietjen and her family, who came from Idaho to visit her sister-in-law on vacation and heard about the fair from her.

“Her kids all wanted to come to the fair. They’re somewhere around here,” Tietjen said, who brought her 2-month-old baby boy, Jacob, and 22-year-old daughter, Aletha.

“I think it’s cool. I really liked the elementary school exhibits. They were fun. We’re going to head over for rides and food in a little bit,” Aletha said. “We want to try the scones.”