GOLD BEACH - The Curry County Fair kicked off Thursday with a ribbon cutting and a day full of rides, cotton candy, livestock events and marshmallow air-gun wars.

The ribbon cutting featured Curry County Commissioners Ralph Brown and Lucie La Bont, fair board members, Rodeo Queen Rebecca Jackson and Jerry's Summer Camp children, who all started the fair off with a big cheer.

Fair Manager Tom Amsden said the fair was andquot;going really greatandquot; and people attending are enjoying the new carnival rides and new food vendors.

andquot;We have 21 talent show entries for Friday,andquot; Amsden said. andquot;And we have 35 parade entries, with one 180-feet long.andquot;

Amsden said it appears more people are using Curry Public Transit, which is picking people up in front of Five Stars Charters (A-frame building) at the Port of Gold Beach.

andquot;There are shuttles every half-hour for people who want to park down there,andquot; Amsden said. andquot;It should be hopping this weekend.andquot;

Cascade Amusements is providing the rides this year, which include Sizzler, Yo-Yo, Super Slide, Bug Cars, Zipper, Tornado, Fun House and Raiders.

Games include the Ballon Pop, Tug Boat and Ring Toss.

This year, marshmallow gun wars are popular with the kids, and some adults too, as groups chased each other around the fair shooting each other and people unfortunate enough to be in their path.

Thursday saw the start of the livestock events, with the open-class goat, beef, dairy and swine shows happening in the livestock arena.

Bee Thomas, 4-H leader and livestock supervisor, said the competitions were going andquot;beautifullyandquot; and the spectators are interested in the job the different 4-H'ers are doing in making the livestock pavilion look so nice.

andquot;The cooperation has been great so far,andquot; Thomas said.

Holly Davie, Livestock Unlimited representative, said there are less chickens entered this year, but more rabbits.

andquot;Things are going good so far,andquot; Davie said.

Vendors include Italian Charms, Amazing Grace Mission, Alpaca coats from Ecuador, Neck Coolers, Rainbows Unlimited, Coral Reef and one that offers a chance to win a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle, among many others.

The food looked great, with many different tasty treats to choose from. River City Wraps, Italian sausage, Kettle Corn, Ole Frijole, Elephant Ears, corn dogs, hot dogs and cotton candy were all being eaten during the day by fair attendees.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry of Portland has an interesting exhibit in Docia Hall, with about 44 different puzzles for children which all teach some sort of lesson. Animals in the exhibit include Robin the Australian bearded dragon, corn snakes, walking sticks and Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

Also in Docia Hall, upstairs, are the art and photo contest entries which show the beauty of Curry County in many artistic forms.

Amsden said today (July 26) and Sunday will feature the NPRA andquot;Dodge Rodeoandquot; beginning at 2 p.m. each day in the horse arena. Events include bareback riding, saddle bronc, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, women's barrel racing, team roping and breakaway.

Also tonight (July 26), from 7:30 to 10 will be the Mike Ferguson Band and Stephanie Michals performing on the main stage.