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2014-08-10 at 17:56

CLE wraps up

By Matt Vis,
St. Joseph FoundationGrand A Day Draw tickets are now on sale. $1,000 daily draws in November. Grand Prize draw is for $10,000. License #M738339Click Here

THUNDER BAY -- The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition continues to be a major draw for families across the region.

The 124th edition of the venerable city carnival wrapped up Sunday, and the family fair’s main organizer said the event has been quite successful.

Ralph Scharf, chairman of this year’s fair, said beautiful weather throughout the duration of the five-day event led to an average of at least 13,000 attendees per day.

“It’s a little better than the (past couple) of years,” he said Sunday afternoon.

One of the primary reasons for the strong attendance is the fair’s booking for evening entertainment.

For the prime weekend nights organizers brought in country singer Aaron Pritchett, duo Carter and Cash and rock group Platinum Blonde as headliners.

Each night there have been close to 2,000 people gathered around the main stage.

“People are coming to see well-known acts,” Scharf said.

While the acts are new, most of the other elements of the CLE remain familiar to regular fairgoers.

The midway, food court and children’s area remains quite similar to the past few years with the same games, cuisine and exhilarating rides the fair has come to be known for.

Nathan and Tina Mines brought their young son Aiden to his third CLE, as the event has become a summer tradition for their family.

“It’s a great place to come,” Nathan Mines said. “We get to see all the fun rides, see the animals and eat some good food.”

Aiden particularly enjoyed the children’s Ferris wheel, especially when he reached the ride’s apex.

Those who were particularly brave took on thrill rides such as the Zipper, Ring of Fire, G Force or the Sea Ray.

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However, there was one significant change that was quite evident throughout the entire area.

Organizers made the grounds of this year’s fair smoke-free, asking that smokers light up only in three designated areas.

Scharf doesn’t think the change had any negative impact.

“We don’t feel it has had any effect on attendance to any great extent and we had parents congratulate us and other people phone and say they appreciated that,” he said.

The new rules were observed by the majority of people on the grounds and very few voiced any vocal objections.

Tina Mines appreciated the new policy.

“It’s really nice to not have to walk through smoke and it’s nice they have the designated areas for smokers so they don’t have to leave the grounds,” she said.

The CLE closes at 12 a.m.

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maggie says:
I am a smoker and try to be considerate of the none smokers but think that the organizers could also be considerate of the smokers next year in the case of the 3 designated smoking areas that were set up. Why could there not be an area set up for the smokers where they could also enjoy the entertainment as everyone else instead of being roped off between two buildings like a herd of cattle with no where to sit, or behind the stage area. Why not put your effort into checking out the areas such as between the Dome and theater where all the 12 and 13 year olds are lighting up? Also I didn't hear anyone complaining about the food booth areas, with all the smoke blowing in the peoples faces while sitting eating at the tables, so bad on one occasion that the fire department had to come and put out the chicken, and because they couldn't find a gate to drive in had to walk in with all there gear.
Put up a designated area with viewing so the none smokers know not to go in that area. Just fair.
8/15/2014 8:26:37 AM
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