(SEDALIA, Mo.) – The 112th Missouri State Fair, themed “Harvest the Fun!,” kicks off this Thursday in Sedalia. More than 40,000 visitors are expected through the gates Aug. 7, many looking to reap the values being offered on gate admission and at participating vendor booths and food stands. Fairgoers in attendance on Thursday will also enjoy time-honored traditions, including the Opening Day Ceremony and Parade.

“Affordable family entertainment and quality agriculture shows are foundations of the Missouri State Fair,” said Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe. “The specials available on opening day will provide fairgoers with opportunities to experience the Fair at a great value.”

The Fair's opener, themed Two Buck Bonanza Day,  will offer $2 deals on gate admission for visitors 6 years of age and older, and $2 specials on several food items and select merchandise.  The Creamy Rich Concession Stand will be selling single cones and deep fried Oreo's for $2 each, and DH Concessions will be offering a small bag of kettle corn for $2. Interested visitors will find paring knives for $2 each from Exclusive Home Products, and leather coin purses for $2 each from Expressions Leather. A complete list of specials being offered exclusively on Thursday, Aug. 7, will be available at the Fair's information booths.

The Opening Day Ceremony will be the first official State Fair event, starting at 10 a.m. in front of the Family Fun Center. Special guests will include nearly 100 youth representing the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sedalia and Kansas City. The youth are being sponsored by the Kansas City Area Toyota Dealers Association, Toyota is the official vehicle of the 2014 Missouri State Fair.

The time-honored parade will commence at 6 p.m., and will include more than 100 units. MFA Agri Services, sponsor of opening day, will lead the parade down State Fair Boulevard.  Other parade entries will include the University of Missouri Mule Team, the Greater Kansas City Two Cylinder Club and Sedalia's Smith Cotton High School Marching Band.

A bonanza of free entertainment will be offered during the 11-day State Fair, including Natalee Stovall performing at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the Nace Brothers performing at 9 p.m. on Opening Day on the Budweiser Stage. Scotty McCreery and Kelsey K will kick-off the Pepsi Grandstand concert series at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7. Tickets can be purchased for $20 and $25 from the State Fair Box Office.

For more information on Opening Day, and other highlights of the 11-day showcase, visit www.mostatefair.com, follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter, or call 1-800-422-FAIR (3247). The 112th Missouri State Fair, themed “Harvest the Fun!,” will be held Aug. 7-17 in Sedalia.

(Press Release Courtesy of the Missouri State Fair Marketing Department)