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Local, state fairs offer range of entertainment

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Entertainment is fair game this summer.

The Ozark Empire Fair will bring thousands to Springfield's northside fairgrounds and E-Plex July 31-Aug. 9, with the Missouri State Fair following hard upon its heels, Aug. 13-23, in Sedalia.

Ozark Empire Fair. This year, the Ozark Empire Fair theme is "Star Crazy," emphasizing the stellar talent featured at the grandstand. Entertainers include Martina McBride, July 31; Mark Chestnut, Aug. 3; Kenny Chesney, Aug. 4; Kansas, Aug. 5; Cheap Trick, Aug. 6; and Mystery Concerts sponsored by Hot 106.7 (stars to be announced) Aug. 7.

The fair is open 8 a.m.-midnight each day. Family living exhibits are open 10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily; commercial exhibits are open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily; and carnival rides are open 11 a.m.-midnight daily. The cost is $5 for adults; children 12 and under get in free.

Special days this year include:

?KTTS Day, July 31 free admission

?Empire Bank's Prime Time Day, Aug. 4 visitors 55 and older get in free 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with a special ticket from Empire Bank

?KWTO Free Ride Day, Aug. 5 ride for free 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

?Pepsi Day, Aug. 6 $1 off adult admission if you bring a Pepsi can.

Discounts are also available by purchasing tickets in advance. Advance admission tickets are $3 at Consumers stores July 1-30, and carnival-ride tickets can be bought at a discount at Git-N-Go stores during July 18 tickets for $10.

For more information about this year's Ozark Empire Fair, call 833-2660.

Missouri State Fair. Meanwhile, the Missouri State Fair's lineup of grandstand entertainment is likewise impressive. Also, this year the state fair is instituting a new pricing structure for grandstand concerts. Reserved grandstand tickets will range from $8 to $14 per ticket; reserved premium grandstand tickets will range from $13 to $19; and reserved track seating runs $18 to $25 per ticket.

LeAnn Rimes and Bryan White will launch the grandstand entertainment at the Missouri State Fair Aug. 13. Tickets are $14, $19 and $24. Continuing the lineup of youthful talent, Savage Garden will offer new, alternative music at the grandstand Aug. 14. Tickets are $10, $15 and $20.

Superstar Alan Jackson headlines the grandstand lineup Aug. 16, with opening performance by Deana Carter. Tickets are $17, $20 and $25.

Contemporary Christian vocalist Sandi Patty takes the grandstand stage Aug. 18. Tickets are $5 general admission and $8 reserved track.

REO Speedwagon ( "Ridin' the Storm Out") and Kansas ("Dust in the Wind") will headline Aug. 19. Tickets for this double-header are $10, $15 and $20.

Trace Adkins and Lee Ann Womack bring their country-music talents to the stage Aug. 20, which is also pay-one-price day. During this special event, $20 buys general admission to the concert plus an unlimited carnival ride wristband. An additional $5 can be saved with a coupon sponsored by KCLR and Breaktime.

Academy of Country Music Best New Male Vocalist nominee Michael Peterson opens for headliner Clint Black, now touring the country with hits from his "Nothin' but the Taillights" album, July 21. Ticket prices are $10, $15 and $20.

The final concert will be held Aug. 22. Sawyer Brown will open adding to its 15-year history of performance followed by the musical stylings of Wynonna. Tickets are $13, $18 and $23.

All shows start at 7:30 p.m. and ticket prices do not include admission and parking. Adult admission is $4; children 12 and younger get in free.

For more information, call 800-422-FAIR.

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