Manatee County Fair to open at 5 p.m. today

PALMETTO -- Despite gloomy skies, it is all smiles and anticipation in north Palmetto this afternoon for the opening of the Manatee County Fair.

Officials plan to open the ticket windows and gates at 5 p.m. -- right on schedule -- for the 11-day run of the annual livestock show, midway ride, blue-ribbon crafts, agriculture exhibits, and eats of all kinds.

The 2009 fair queen has been crowned, the distinguished citizen has been named. All that is left now is for the fair to be opened to the more than 100,000 people who will visit between this evening and Sunday, Jan. 25.