By Valliant Corley

Pilot staff writer

GOLD BEACH - The Curry County Fair parade will head south from the Port of Gold Beach to the Curry County Fairgrounds as the last two days of the fair kickoff at 10 a.m. today.

andquot;We're looking forward to the grand marshals, youth of the county that have excelled in state and national competition this year,andquot; said Fair Manager Ron Crook.

They'll be joined in the parade by floats from merchants, groups and individuals as well as many participants in the fair, including the Tuff Trucks that will be featured Saturday night and trucks that will be in a tug-of-war on Sunday afternoon.

andquot;We've certainly been pleased with the attendance,andquot; Crook said. andquot;These two exhibits are really drawing people in,andquot; he said of the Great Cats Show that is seen three times a day on the fairground and Brad's World of Reptiles in the Showcase Building.

andquot;We've had about 300 watching each of the cat shows,andquot; said David Hoenie, chairman of the Fair Board.

andquot;At the Tuff Trucks show Saturday night, we will have quite a few women in the powder-puff trucks,andquot; Crook said. andquot;They're getting a big prize, about $1,000.andquot;

andquot;We're trying to have a face-off with the guys' winners and the girls' winners,andquot; Hoenie said.

The Tuff Trucks run a time course facing obstacles. The 7 p.m. show is free with admission, with reserved seats available for $3.

Also free, on Sunday afternoon, there's the demolition derby as well as the tug-of-war at 2 o'clock.

andquot;There will be a Humvee in the tug of war,andquot; Crook said.

Hoenie said there have been many fair visitors come to the office to say how they like the Big Cat and reptile shows.

And there are also lots of remarks on how the fair buildings have been spruced up.

andquot;Right now, the buildings are in the best shape they have been in 10 years,andquot; Hoenie said. andquot;We have no buildings not in use now.andquot;

There are also 15 rides brought by Johnston Brothers Carnival, the most the fair has ever seen, Crook said.

For today only, along with the carnival rides, Air Shasta from Redding, Calif., will be offering helicopter rides from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Robinson R-44 helicopter can fly three passengers at 120 mph in air-conditioned comfort. The flights will cover an approximate 10-mile course with the route dependent upon the local weather. The cost of the helicopter rides will be $45 a person or $125 for a group of three.

Local commercial helicopter pilot Dan Brattain will be piloting the helicopter for Air Shasta.

Crook said there will be the usual hobby, craft and art exhibits, as well as cooking, vegetables, flowers, and more.

Then there's are lots of 4-H animals and a goat show. The junior livestock auction is one big event scheduled for today.