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CROWN POINT — Despite the threat of storms, the 165th Lake County Fair’s Preview Night created quite a buzz Thursday with more than 30 carnival rides whirling and twirling, games galore and food to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Organized by the Lake County Agricultural Society since 1852, the 10-day event fills the Lake County Fairgrounds at 889 S. Court St. now through Sunday, Aug. 13. 

The Lake County Fair attracts people of all ages who enjoy many different things during the festivities, said Arlene Marcinek, a spokeswoman for the fair.

For those who wanted to enjoy only the fair’s popular midway during Preview Night, the gates swung open at 6 p.m. Thursday. With admission just $2 for those ages 9 and older and parking another $2, Preview Night also provided a bargain with unlimited rides from 6 p.m. until closing with a $15-per-person wristband.

North American Midway Entertainment returns this year with more than 30 rides, midway games and concessions, Marcinek said. The large midway also features independent food vendors and other concessionaires.

When the Lake County Fair officially opens at 9 a.m. today, visitors can enjoy an array of activities including contests, demonstrations, 4-H showcases, animal shows and daily entertainment on the Heritage Stage that provide that fair experience for everyone, according to Marcinek.

Each day the buildings open at 10 a.m. except the Industrial Building, which opens at noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Carnival rides begin at noon.

On the fair’s final day, Aug. 13, all buildings will close at 8 p.m. Some exhibits will close at 4 p.m. and all livestock will leave after noon.

Gate admission and parking are free before 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

After 3 p.m. on those days and all day Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, gate admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 9 to 12 and free for children ages 8 and younger. Parking on the fairgrounds is $5.

Free parking and shuttle service to the fairgrounds are available starting at noon daily at Crown Point High School, 1500 S. Main St.

Activities during The Times Media Co. Day this Saturday include the annual bean-spitting contest at 10:30 a.m. in the special activities area. In the arena, take in the Society All-Breed Classic Horse and Pony Show at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

This year, The Times is also sponsoring all the free live entertainment on the Heritage Stage, located in Heritage Hall, beginning at 6 p.m. through Aug. 12. 

Church services by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod of Northwest Indiana will also be held at 9 a.m. on both Sundays in the Lakeshore Public Media tent.

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