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Cattaraugus County Fair kicks off its run, promising to be 'fun 24/7'

The 169th annual Cattaraugus County Fair opens today and continues through Sunday with country singer Rodney Atkins as its biggest name attraction in concert before the grandstand Thursday.

The fair is located on grounds on Route 353 and operated by the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society, offering free parking and some grandstand shows all week. This year's theme is: "Fun 2 4/7 in 2011!."

General gate admission tickets are $9 and include admission to the grounds, free parking behind the grandstand, unlimited midway rides and free daily entertainment, as well as domestic and farm exhibits. The midway provided by Bates Brothers Amusements from Ohio is back for its second year.

Admission for Youth Day on Wednesday is $6 for youngsters age 15 and under from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Senior Citizens Day, Thursday, those 62 and older will be admitted for $6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children under age 2 are admitted free daily.

Grandstand shows at 7:30 p.m. are free for the demolition derby today and the Figure 8 Races on Tuesday.

A $5 grandstand fee will be charged for other shows at 7:30 p.m. daily, Wednesday for the East Coast Pullers, Friday for the Monster Mash Truck Rally and Saturday for the FMX Motorcars Championships. Sunday, $5 will cover both demolition derby shows at 5 and 7:30 p.m.

Thursday at 7:30 p.m., the Fulton Chain Gang will take the stage along with country music star Rodney Atkins. Grandstand tickets are $23, and track tickets are $28.

The Youth Talent Show for ages 12 and under will be at 1 p.m. today and Wednesday.

Free grounds entertainment includes Commerford's Petting Zoo, Pedal Power, Swifty Swine Racing Pigs, Indian River Lumberjack Show, Rosaire's Big Cat Encounter, Hall's Bear Mountain, a chain saw carver and a comedy act.

Helicopter rides will be offered for a fee Friday to Sunday from the parking lot behind the fairgrounds.

New this year is a grand parade at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. A veterans parade will held at 2 p.m. Sunday.

For more information about the fair, go to www.cattarauguscofair.com or phone 938-9146.