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Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair opens Tuesday

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GOUVERNEUR — The Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair, which officially opens Tuesday, will bring back two former residents, one to perform musically and another to celebrate 50 years of awards that bear his name.

The headline event Aug. 2 of country-and-western singer Craig Campbell includes Gouverneur native Austin W. Curcuruto on drums. Mr. Curcuruto made his Grand Ole Opry debut as Mr. Campbell’s drummer May 6. Mr. Curcuruto, a 2002 graduate of Gouverneur Central School, has played with American Idol season four runner-up Bo Bice and pop star Tiffany, among others.

“Probably as many people will be coming to see Austin as Craig Campbell,” Fair Manager Donald A. Peck said. “He’s a great drummer.”

Mr. Campbell has a song, “Keep Them Kisses Comin’” in the Top Ten and is an up-and-coming star, Mr. Peck said.

The fair will also see the return of Carlton E. Peck, another graduate of Gouverneur Central School, who started recognition awards in 1964 for drum majors and majorettes in school marching bands. Other awards were added over the years and some original winners will also return for the golden anniversary event.

“Today, we’re up to 19 categories and 100 awards,” Mr. Peck said. “It’s just an inspiration day. It’s a learning experience.”

The parade is a chance for high school marching bands to see what their compatriots are doing so they can think about ideas for their own groups, he said. This year’s high school bands’s parade is at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday with the Carlton Peck awards at 2:30 p.m.

The fair will also feature a motorsports thrill show at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. July 31 in front of the grandstand.

“They jump on pogo sticks 35 to 40 feet in the air,” Mr. Peck said.

The midway will be packed with rides and vendors, he said.

Admission remains free.

“It puts people in the gate,” Mr. Peck said. “That means the vendors are happy. There is no space on the midway.”

There is a fee for parking and for the main grandstand shows.

Several 4-H events take place Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday but the rides open at 4 p.m. Tuesday. A complete list of events and entertainment is available on the fair’s website, www.gouverneurfair.net. Mr. Peck said he has not checked the forecast for next week.

“I don’t look at the weather,” he said. “That would just give me something to worry about.”

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