Missouri State Fair preps for grand opening

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SEDALIA - The 114th Missouri State Fair will officially begin Thursday morning in Sedalia.

Around 40,000 people are expected to come on opening day, where deals will be offered on admission and at participating concessions and vendors.

The preparation for the fair began a week before opening day and some shows, including the society horse show, began earlier as well.

Mark Wolfe, the Missouri State Fair Director said, "There's a lot of tradition here at the Missouri state fair and obviously folks have the opportunity to see those things you expect, the livestock shows...which is really the basis for what we do out here."

The theme of the fair is "See What Crops Up" which capitalizes on agriculturalists whom Wolfe believes are "the future leaders in our state."

Michelle Greenwell, a frequent attendee of the fair and contestant for the state fair queen contest said one of the qualifications to be the queen is to know how to be a leader in agriculture and know a lot about agriculture issues.

"The biggest issues revolve around GMO's. Genetically modified organisms are used by many anti-agriculture organizations, PETA being one of them, where they are trying to install fear and misinformation in consumers today. GMO's are actually very safe and helpful to crops. They allow crops to be resistant to weeds and insects." said Greenwell.

Some of the new aspects at the fair include several changes to livestock shows including beef cattle, dairy cattle, rabbit and sheep.

Wolfe said there will be some bigger rides this year including a roller coaster that "keeps looking bigger and bigger as it gets set up."

There are also additional competitions such as the can creation contest, where contestants are given two hours to create a themed sculpture out of cans.

The opening day, sponsored by MFA Incorporated, will offer $4 gate admission for visitors 13 years of age and older, $2 admission for ages 6-12, and free admission for kids 5 and under every day.

For more details and information on any Fair activities, visit mostatefair.com