The 90th edition of the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair is coming up on its final weekend at the Lee Civic Center, and it promises to be one to remember, with many one-of-a-kind activities in store.
Even though Thursday's weather certainly made things rough, the fair has had a very good run so far, with ideal weather with the best still yet to come.
"We have had a wonderful start with some record- breaking days and we are excited by the turnout," said fair organizer Fran Crone. "Our senior day was a hit and we had a lot of positive comments about that."
The second part of the fair won't be unlike what was offered during the first part, where the event featured special promotions during the week including Harry Chapin Food Bank Night on Monday, where three cans of food got you free admission, and $12 Tuesday for same-priced ride wristbands.
Wednesday introduced the first-ever Senior Day, with an early start time of 2 p.m., $5 admission and $2 off that with a coupon for admission and rides. It featured health screenings and other senior-related activities for everyone to take part in.
"They liked that they could come to the fair early, without fighting the crowds with things geared for them," Crone said.
Tonight will feature the second moonlight madness starting at 9 p.m., with $25 wristbands for rides and regular admission until 9 p.m.
As the fair reaches the finish line, it will feature more talented dancers and singers, along with local country acts Michael King and Brooke Huffmaster to the main stage inside the civic center.
The weekend livestock shows will feature a small animal and goat auction, along with a horse speed show on Friday, the big livestock auction and goat agility show on Saturday that Crone said is always a big draw, and a fun horse and goat show to end things on Sunday.
And if you have racing action on your mind, there will be a small taste of the upcoming Demolition Derby and Mud Show coming to the civic center next week. There will be two shows at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday.
Strolling acts include One Man Band, Funny Little People, Scott's Magic Show, Rock-It the Robot and Dinosaur Walk. Regular acts include the Grizzly Experience and the Alligator Show.
Crone said she expects crowds to be at or near record levels when all is said and done.
"We're expecting a good crowd. We've done a lot of advertising," Crone said. "It's been crazy, but it also been exciting watching everything come together and build up like a small town."
The good news is that the weather will improve following the slow, stormy Thursday.
Today will be nice, if a little chilly at night, with temperatures getting into the low 80s for the final weekend.
"We're still expecting record or near-record crowds. We still have a Moonlight Madness and beautiful weather on the weekend," Crone said. "We're looking for a fabulous weekend."
The fair will be open Friday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday noon to 11 p.m.
The Lee Civic Center is at 11831 Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers.