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Posted: 08/06/14

Armada Fair returns with
cancer fundraiser

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer

      The 142nd Armada Fair will return with old-fashioned fun and a new party to kick off fundraising for cancer research.
       The fair will be held Aug. 11-17 at the Armada Fairgrounds, located at 74280 Fair Street in Armada. Gates open at 8 a.m.
       The newest event will be held the last day of the festival. Known as the Big Tent Party, the event will raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society and its Making Strides event.
       Penny Tibbits, the Big Tent Party coordinator, said the event was motivated by this year's fair colors of pink and purple, but also by how many people have been affected by cancer.
       "This money that is going to be raised is just for Macomb, St. Clair and Oakland counties, and it's all going to stay right here in these three counties," Tibbits said.
       Speakers will include patients and survivors to health care professionals and local dignitaries. Live music will be performed by Steve Flagg of Single Shot, and a raffle with $1 tickets will give away more than 40 donated items.
       The event will culminate with a balloon launch to honor and remember those who have fought cancer.
       "It's going to be a positive thing for this community," Tibbits said.
       The party serves as the kick-off for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K that will be held 9 a.m. Oct. 18 in Mount Clemens.
       Fair-goers can expect their favorite attractions to make a comeback. The Twisted P Rodeo, formerly known as the Wagon Wheel Rodeo, will entertain guests at the main arena on Monday night. Guests can cheer on cowboys as they participate in the sanctioned rodeo.
       Nancy Bliss, Armada Fair spokeswoman, said the fair board tries to keep the event fresh and entertaining, especially with attendance increasing on a yearly basis.
       "Some of it may have to do with people not traveling as extensively, so they are going to events that are closer to home," she said. "The fair continues to have an excellent reputation for being safe and clean and offering events the public enjoys watching."
       Other crowd favorites in the main arena will be the bump and run, demolition derby, figure eight races and truck and tractor pulls.
       The fair's main concert will feature Parmalee at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. The country rock band is known for its hit track, "Carolina."
       Mainstays like a carnival and livestock competitions and demonstrations make a return to the fair throughout the week. Daily events include petting farms, free kids activities, chainsaw demonstrations and a refreshment tent.
       Bliss said the fair board has fielded some concerns over safety due to the July 24 murder of April Millsap, 14, in Armada. She said this year's fair will have extra security and police -- uniformed and plain-clothed -- to help ease the minds of fair-goers.
       Admission is $8 for adults, $2 for kids ages 9 to 12 and free for kids ages 8 and under. Parking is $5 a day. All tickets include admission to grandstands.
       For more information, call 586-784-5488 or visit www.armadafair.org.


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