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Denver County Fair announces dates, changes for 2012

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It's not too early to make plans for the second annual Denver County Fair -- which has been moved to the second weekend in August, starting on Friday, August 10 and running through Sunday, August 12, with extended hours.

"We won't be up against the Dragon Boat Festival, the last week of Renaissance Faire and Cheyenne Frontier Days," fair organizers Tracy Weil and Dana Cain note. "Produce will have more time to ripen, and we'll get to celebrate the last weekend of summer vacation for Denver Public School students!"

There are other changes in store for 2012, too, including the new Geek Pavilion.

"Colorado is the most educated state in the U.S," Weil and Cain announce, "and we're celebrating with a new pavilion for the techies, the brainiacs, the GEEKS! Booths celebrating the newest gadgets, cutting-edge technology and all things relating to science, science fiction and various forms of geekery will abound! And get ready for the Spelling Bee, the Robot Wars (invented in Denver!) and so much more!"

A new Kids Pavilion will include the carnival, which is moving indoors: "It's like a playground, a kiddie carnival, and a place to find great new products and services for parenting and families -- all combined! Everything from books to bounce houses!" But since this is a true county fair, there will still be a dedicated 4-H Youth Pavilion.

Mark Penner-Howell will return as director of the Arts Pavilion, which is moving into the spot that had been home to the Craft Pavilion, right next to the Geek Pavilion. New staffers include entertainment director Andrew Novick, who was so entertaining at the 2011 fair; Kym Bloom as competition director; and food & beverage director Andra Zeppelin, who'll be in charge of improvements in that area. The fair still has to work through K-M Concessions, but food and beverage vendors don't have to pay anything upfront this time. Say Weil and Cain: "Attracting interesting local food choices is a TOP PRIORITY for 2012! We want more healthy, vegetarian choices and more bizarre food, too! We hope to get more Food Trucks in this year!"

All these exclamatory declarations accompany an announcement that those who want booths at the 2012 fair should sign up by December 31 for early-bird discount rates. For more information, go to www.denvercountyfair.org. That's also where you can order a Denver County Fair Cook Book -- perfect for holiday gift-giving.

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