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It's Island County Fair time
"Photo: Ruth Turner, chairwoman of the board, invites everyone to the 2000 Island County Fair which runs Thursday through Sunday.Jim Larsen / staff photoFair highlightsHere are some highlights of the first two days of the Island County Fair.Thursday 9:30 a.m. Gates open1 p.m. Amy Clawson Band, Eva Mae Gabelein Stage1:30 Diaper Derby, Fiddle Faddle Farm2:00 High Point Barbershop, Eva Mae Stage5:00 Amy Clawson Band, Eva Mae Stage6:00 Pickled Herring Band, Eva Mae Stage7:00 Opening Ceremonies, Eva Mae Stage9:00 Junkyard Jane, Eva Mae StageFridaySenior Recognition Day11 a.m. Pie Eating Contest, Fiddle Faddle Farm11:00 Danny Ward, Eva Mae Stage12-4 Dean Hatt Karaoke, Fiddle Faddle Farm1:00 Senior Recognition, Pole Building1:00 Eagle Creek Band, arena2:00 Nora Michaels, Eva Mae Stage 3:30 Eagle Creek Band, Eva Mae stage5:00 Smokin' Gun, Eva Mae Stage6:00 Arm Wrestling, Eva Mae Stage6:30 Eagle Creek Band, Eva Mae Stage8-10 Dance to Smokin' Gun, Eva Mae StagePick up a complete list of events from the information booth at the Island County Fair. Weekend highlights will appear in Saturday's South Whidbey Record.Buses on SundayIsland Transit will operate on Sunday to accommodate fairgoers. For the complete Sunday bus schedule and other fair information please turn to page B-1.New red roofs, plenty of cheerful flowers, and a freshly cleaned Pole Building will greet thousands of visitors to the Island County Fair during the next four days.Thanks to frugal use of a tight budget, a host of volunteers, and even community service hours turned in by minor lawbreakers, the Island County Fairgrounds have seldom looked better.Other than a new carnival, there are no spectacular new attractions to the 2000 Fair. But Ruth Turner, fair board chairman, and others have worked hard all year to assure a pleasurable experience from 9:30 a.m. Thursday through 9 p.m. on Sunday.Walking through the main gates, one is first struck by the historic Pole Building, which looks several shades lighter and newer, more like it did, no doubt, when a CCC crew built it in the 1930s. It looks really good, said Turner, explaining that the big building was pressure washed and given a fresh coat of stain obtained for free at the recycling center.New red metal roofs grace the 4-H Building, Sheep Barn and one restroom structure, and bright white lettering stands out on the other old familiar buildings. One big change this year is that it will be more difficult for visitors to get lost -- buildings are clearly labeled, and new signs point the way to the attractions.We've got all kinds of new signs, said Turner, giving most of the credit to fair volunteer Ralph Nakamura. The signs were recommended last year by the state fair judge. Nakamura's most ambitious effort is an impressive map of the county that is sited at the main entrance.All the improvements have been made on a shoestring budget, Turner noted, with volunteers supplying most of the labor. When people feel they're being appreciated you can get a lot done, she said.Faithful volunteers are getting more than thanks these days. In the new Volunteer Park on the hill overlooking the fair office, red bricks at the base of the flagpole are inscribed with the names of volunteers who have given 100 hours or more -- names like Lieske, Alexander, Turner, Gabelein, Donohoe and Burrier. Sixteen in all, with room for many more in the future.By Thursday at 9:30, all the animals, commercial exhibits, food booths and entertainers will be ready to kick off the 2000 Island County Fair.Cheap carnival tickets availableToday, Wednesday, is the final day to get the best deal on carnival ride tickets during the Island County Fair.The Paradise Carnival trucks arrived on the island Monday night, and will be set up and ready for action at noon on Thursday, according to the Island County Fair Office.By purchasing tickets in advance, kids of all ages can enjoy unlimited rides from noon to 10 p.m. for just $12. Presale tickets are good any day of the fair in exchange for a wristband. Buy the tickets today at any Whidbey Island Bank branch, or at the fair office in Langley until 2 p.m. "