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      State fair opens with $2 admission day

      The 2010 Missouri State Fair opened Thursday in Sedalia to discounted admissions and scorching temperatures.

      In annual operation since 1901, the Missouri State Fair this year sports the theme of "Growing Great Memories.

      "This state fair, and the memories it creates, are a vital part of the long-standing values and tradition of Missouri agriculture, Gov. Jay Nixon said.

      The fair remains Missouri TMs premier showcase for agriculture. It reconnects people to the traditions of the home spun life. The woman's building is a hundred years old this year.

      "The building was designed to feel home-like, Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Mark Templeton said. It has a porch for sitting.

      But it's the midway rides and shows and the treats to eat that keep kids of all ages coming back.

      "The fair is more than a passion, State Fair Commission Chairman Elizabeth Schlueter said. It gets in your blood.

      Organizers promote the fair as the state's best entertainment bargain. Opening day admission was just $2. The economy is still a source of pressure and the fair now charges admission for kids under twelve, something it did not do in the past. Still, discounted tickets are available at area convenience stores and this coming Sunday is military appreciation day.

      "This'll be a special day for our military heroes to enjoy the fair for free, Nixon said.

      Even more than finances, the fair can challenge one's endurance. Triple-digit temperatures inevitably raise the question of "why August?" Organizers said the state fair is set up to follow county fairs and to happen, or at least to get underway, before kids go back to school.

      State Fair Commission member Lowell Mohler said that a Fall Festival wouldn TMt work.

      We've look at that, and you've got a lot of competition from football games and a lot of high school events, Mohler said.

      Many Missouri students will return to class during the fairs run next week.

      The fair continues through Aug. 22.

      See the State Fair schedule here

      Get information on admission and tickets here