A different kind of ride at the Decatur County Fair, a swinging ship with an Egyptian theme, will be taking its maiden voyage when the carnival opens to the public on Friday.

The Decatur County Fair is only days away now, and the Fair Board has been busily working toward getting the fairgrounds prepared and running for the July 11 start date.

According to Fair Board president Kevin Crites, the weeks leading up to the fair are the board’s busiest time, and especially demanding is getting the livestock buildings ready.

“Pre-planning for the fair started in January,” Crites said. “Now it’s bringing in all the plans and putting them together.”

Currently, the finishing touches are being added and merchants are preparing to bring in their booths. Luehrs Ideal Rides Company, the organization that will be providing the carnival, began setting up on July 7. The company has been offering its rides and games to the people of Decatur County for 51 years, Crites said.

At 6 p.m. on Friday, June 11, the carnival will open. Getting to experience the rides will cost tickets, and they can be purchased at the Midway. However, advance tickets are less expensive, with a price of $10 for 12 tickets. Advance tickets are available at Harvest Market, Minear’s, both Marsh locations, Decatur County REMC, the Corner Store, Lett’s Hardware and Clarkson’s Market in Westport.

On Saturday, the carnival will open at 5 p.m., and on Sunday, it will open at 3 p.m. Otherwise, the carnival opens at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 17 will be “Family Bargain Day,” from 1 to 11 p.m. All rides will take just one ticket, and the tickets will be available at a discounted price.

Two new features of the Decatur County Fair will be starting what may become annual traditions. On Friday, July 11, there will be a live musical event at the Grandstands, and on the following Saturday, there will be a mud racing event. Both begin at 6:30 p.m.

Crites is optimistic that the fair will be a success.

“It’s a big event in Decatur County every year,” Crites said. “And hopefully we’ll get the weather to cooperate.”

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