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Free Press Article

A Trip to the State Fair

For Warrensburg Free Press August 15 issue

The Missouri State Fair still has a few days to go. If you have not attended one recently, you should, just for the experience. Here are a few pointers on interesting things to see and do.

When you enter the brand new main gate, spend 50 cents for a ride on the shuttle to see what the fair has to offer. Sit on the right side, if possible, since most of the interesting buildings are on that side. Hereís what youíll see.

The first building you pass is the Womenís Building, now occupied by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The exhibits and activities, staffed by over 20 state employees, describe the varied responsibilities of the department. Plenty of handouts, some take-home items and even a contest are available. Their tote bag is the best on the grounds (youíll need it).

Next door is the air conditioned Mo-Ag Theater, filed with educational exhibits on agriculture for kids. Many activities are staffed by MU Extension employees, who have lots of handouts for you.

Several stops down the road CMSU has a display that includes an airplane and recruiting information. This exhibit is staffed by a mixture of students and CMSU employees and has, naturally, more handouts.

The shuttle turns a corner at the air conditioned Agriculture Building, which houses 5 state activities including Lincoln University (1 handout). MU College of Agriculture (8 handouts plus some ice cream sales), the State Veterinary office (13 handouts), the Division of Tourism (1 handout) and the Environmental Assistance Office of the DNR (17 handouts plus some giveaway items). Around 13 people are busy helping Missourians here.

Opposite the Fire Department, 2 representatives of the Fire Marshallís office (Department of Public Safety) pass out 2 handouts, along with a fan, pencil & kidsí books.

Next on the left is the best place to relax at the fairgrounds, the Highway Gardens, offering benches and mature shade trees in a restful setting. It also houses an air conditioned building where 4 employees pass out multiple handouts along with cups, pencils, pads and more. The building also has 13 computers to test your highway safety knowledge. Also part of this complex is the Highway Patrolís talking car and the rollover demonstrator, staffed by highway patrol officers.

The Department of Conservationís display is next door. At least 20 staff members provide a wide range of handouts to supplement the educational displays of fish, mammals & reptiles. Thereís even a free t-shirt for those who sign up for a conservation license plate.

If you like government literature, the Mathewson Exhibition Center provides a bonanza. At least 25 people from 12 agencies pass out around 150 separate handouts. Agencies include the Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health, Attorney General, State Treasurer (unclaimed property and tuition saving offices), Department of Higher Education, Department of Public Safety (Division of Highway Safety and Veteransí Commission), Secretary of State and Public Service Commission. In addition to the literature, you can sign up for various programs, get rulers, magnets, fans, pencils & squeeze bottles, vote on the correct pronunciation of Missouri and get your own gold-embossed copy of the Missouri State Seal.

These state agencies work hard to make sure the State Fair is a bargain at $6 per person. If you tire of collecting government literature, you can always visit the livestock, enjoy good food, listen to musical entertainment, stop at the many commercial displays or visit the campaign booths of the Republican, Democrat & Libertarian parties. Whatís most popular? The Budweiser Clydesdale team, without a doubt.

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