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PHOENIX -- Grow it and show it!

That's this year's theme at the Maricopa County Fair. It's back for five fun-filled days at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

The Maricopa County Fair showcases nearly 4,000 entries, including animals, crafts and hobbies, home arts, photography, and culinary arts, each year. This year's fair will exhibit an abundance of animals, most raised by kids 18 and under, including beef and dairy cattle, meat goat, sheep, swine, dairy goat, pygmy goat, rabbit, pigeon, poultry, and guinea pigs.

"Check out the Wild West Turkey Stampede, Rocket's K9 Comets Fido 500 Dog Races, and you can't miss the Pollywood Bird Show," said Karen Searle, fair spokeswoman.

Many animals that earn blue ribbon status at the County Fair will be sold during the Small Stock Auction on Friday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. MST. or the Livestock auction on Saturday, April 12 at 10:00 a.m MST.

The auctions have historically generated large profits for the youth including the 2013 auctions which recorded nearly $900,000 in sales.

Familiar and fun Fair entertainment will return, including magician Terry Godfrey, the music of George Johnson, comedy juggler Greg Frisbee, the Safety Magic Show, and NBA halftime star Skip Banks. Of course, you can't miss SpongeBob SquarePants who will make appearances to charm kids and adults alike, and enjoy traditional fair favorites like rides, games, and fabulous fair food.

For more details, call 602-252-0717 or visit www.maricopacountyfair.org.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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