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Crews make last minute preparations before State Fair gates open

MILWAUKEE -- The Wisconsin State Fair 2012 kicks off Thursday, August 2nd, and organizers spent the final day before the gates open making last minute preparations in advance of the fair's 11-day run.

Alan Fox says he's been attending the Wisconsin State Fair since his early teens, but what he witnessed during the 2011 State Fair has him concerned.

Violence on opening day of the 2011 State Fair prompted a sort of curfew program, where those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult after 5:00 p.m. That program will be in effect during the duration of this year's fair.

Fox says he's ready to check out what's new at the fair this year.

"I'm really excited about this year. We have so many great new things -- including Spin City," Fox said.

State Fair spokesman, Kristi Chuckel says Spin City is the new name for State Fair's Midway, where several new rides will be featured.

There are also new surveillance cameras, and a new level of overall security.

"We've just had an unprecedented collaboration with the West Allis Police Department, the Milwaukee Police Department, State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies," Chuckel said.

Officials say patrons should be aware the surveillance cameras come in clusters of four to provide panoramic views, and offer high-resolution images.

On Opening Day, comedian Jeff Dunham is set to headline the Potawatomi Bingo Casino stage at 7:30 p.m.

Opening Ceremonies begin Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Admission is just $4 for fairgoers who present at least two non-perishable food items or make a cash donation to Hunger Task Force between 8am – 6pm outside any Fair admission entrances.This promotion ends at 6:00 p.m.

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