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2011 Oakland County Fair plenty for the whole family



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Alice Lalone and Marvin getting ready for the Oakland County Fair. Photo by Patrick McAbee. (click for larger version)
July 06, 2011 - So far, Alice Lalone is having a pretty decent summer.

Not only is the 17-year-old Rochester High School student confident about showing top grade steers and lambs at the upcoming Oakland County Fair set for July 12-17—but she'll do it as the 2011 Oakland County Fair Queen.

"It takes a lot of hardwork, but I want to make the world a more beautiful place," said Lalone, who keeps her livestock at an Atlas Township farm.

"Each day varies between deworming steers, shearing lambs, trimming nails, and general maintenance of all the animals twice a day. I have to make them look pretty," she laughs.

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Lalone, a Rochester resident, has been competing for almost seven years with her passion for animals being the driving force. She has been gearing up for fair week for about a year, since last year's fair wrapped up.

"I absolutely love showing and talking with others about what I do," Lalone said.

Besides handling animals, she is also involved in garden exhibits as well as working beside her brother, who was named 2011 Livestock Prince.

Along with Lalone are hundreds more participants in this year's exhibits, including the Reo family, Luie, 17, Amanda, 16, and Jessica, 9.

Each have a hog and also raise steer, ducks and chickens. The days leading up to the fair consist of feeding and watering the livestock and cooling down their pigs "Ladybug" and "Violet."

"They really appreciate the animals and understand where their food is coming from," said Sue Reo, mother of Luie, Amanda, and Jessica. "They also enjoy being around their friends who share the same interests as them."

Jackie Scramlin, director of the board for the Oakland County Fair, expects to have at least 600 other exhibitors encompassing 5,000 exhibits this year. The 100-year-old fair has much to offer for all ages.

"Its a huge family fair," said Scramlin, with attractions including carnival rides, animals and craft exhibits, pig races, and various contests including burping, watermelon and pickle eating, and the diaper derby/toddler trot.

The fair will be introducing a "green" tent this year, promoting the recycling of old cell phones and discussing the importance of wind and solar energy. Grandstand events are also a favorite and include figure 8 races, super kicker bullmania rodeo, demo derby, and monster trucks each night.

"We are expecting between 90,000 and 100,000 people to attend this year's fair. It is a great outing for families and inexpensive," said Scramlin.

Admission to the fairgrounds is at Springfield Oaks County Park, 12451 Andersonville Road, Davisburg. $10 per vehicle and $4 per person walking. Carnival rides are extra, as well as the grandstand events. Visit oakfair.org for more information.

Staff Writer
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