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80th annual Iredell Fair underway

By Jim McNally, Statesville Record and Landmark

The bigwigs and the beauty queens gathered at the gate of the Iredell County Fairgrounds to cut the ribbon on the 80th Iredell County Agricultural Fair on Monday evening.

Event Chairman Jim Head rounded up folks from every level of government  to help kick off the fair.

Troutman Mayor Elbert Richardson welcomed folks to his town.

"I haven't been doing this for all 80 years," Richardson joked. "Only 16 of them."

U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger introduced himself to possible constituents by telling them to "call me when you need me." Pittenger's 9th District takes in the southern part of Iredell. U.S. Rep Virginia Foxx made an appearance at the fair but had to leave before the 7 p.m. ribbon-cutting.

Iredell County Board of Commissioners Chairman James Mallory was one of the scissors-wielders. 

He was joined by Vice-Chairman Marvin Norman and former Commissioner Gene Houpe.

Both of Iredell's state representatives, Rena Turner and John Fraley, also were present for the opening, as was Iredell-Statesville Board of Education member Chuck Gallyon, who later donned a vest and worked a ticket-selling both as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Statesville, which runs the fair.

Monday's crowd as among the largest in recent fairs as a storm threatened the area but never unloaded any precipitation. Lines of 50 people for some rides were not uncommon.

The fair continues all week, with gates opening at 5 p.m. 

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