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The Greater Baton Rouge State Fair kicks off with rides, food and long lines

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Long lines, lots of booths and racing pigs opened this year’s edition of the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair on Thursday afternoon.

Unfazed by the show’s new location at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, officials said people were queuing as early as 3:30 p.m., a full 90 minutes before the gates officially opened.

Fair chairman Cliff Barton was pleased about the early turnout.

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People enjoy the rides and fanfare on opening night of the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair, Thursday, October 27, 2022, at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La.

PERSONAL PHOTO BY HILARY SHEINUK

“Things are looking good at the moment,” he said. “During set-up, cars came in. We look forward to a good opening night.”

Barton, who has been involved with the show since 1973, said he was thrilled that it lived up to its family-friendly reputation.

“Every year we get people saying they came to the fair as kids and now they bring their kids and grandkids,” he said. “It’s the kind of environment we want.”

Brax Perkins, 2, laughs as he slides down the big slide with his sister Sage Perkins, 14, on opening night of the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair, Thursday, October 27, 2022, at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La.

PERSONAL PHOTO BY HILARY SHEINUK

That goes for people like Michelle Jones. Jones attends every year, this time with her children, Misha and Reyo Comery.

“I first came when I was 13 or 14 years old,” she said while guiding her children through the fair’s huge array of booths. “We like the food, especially the funnel cakes and the kids’ rides.

The usual rides were there, including bumper cars, carousels and a Ferris wheel. The Swifty Swine Racing Pigs were particularly popular, with a solid crowd lining up to watch piglets with names like Snoop Hogg and Shaquille O’Squeal race at random around a small makeshift track.

Spectators cheer on the pigs during the first pig race on opening night of the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair, Thursday, October 27, 2022, at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La.

PERSONAL PHOTO BY HILARY SHEINUK

However, questions remain regarding traffic flow. While it was busy but free-flowing on Thursday afternoon, cars were reportedly slamming into La later in the evening. 30 secured.

The fair will take place from October 27th to November 6th. Hours of operation are 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It closes at 10pm every night.

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