A nice alternative to the costly family vacation is the 13th annual Carbon County Fair, which opens Tuesday and runs through Saturday, Aug. 11.

Volunteers and vendors were hard at work this week preparing for the fair which will be open from 3-to-11 p.m. each day, rain or shine. This year's theme is "Blue Jeans and Country Dreams." During the five days, visitors will find plenty of food, entertainment and rides. The opening ceremony and fair queen crowning will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

There is plenty for everyone. Daily ride specials will be offered Tuesday through Friday, from 4 to10 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m., for families to save some money.

There is covered seating at the main stage. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

Tuesday's highlights include two performances (7 and 9 p.m.) by country singer Nicole Donatone, and a spectacular fireworks display at 10:15 p.m.

Wednesday's entertainment includes three performances (5, 7 and 9 p.m.) by the classic rock group "Remember When."

Thursday is Children's Day and each child (12 years and younger) present with an adult has a chance to win a bicycle at a drawing at 8 p.m.

The Lehigh Valley Hospital MedEvac helicopter mascot, EPI and the Morning Call's mascot "Max M. Call", will be on the grounds from 6 to 8 p.m., greeting children of all ages. Children visiting Farmer for a Day exhibit will receive a coupon for a free meal at Old Country Buffet.

Thursday's entertainment includes performances at 5, 7, and 9 p.m. by "Crazy Hearts".

Penn's Peak Radio & TV DJ "The Doctor" is featured Friday; along with two performances (5 and 7 p.m.) by The Fabulous Hubcaps (1950s Grease Show).

Saturday will be a Country Spectacular. "Tracey Lee" is at 1 p.m. and at 3 p.m. "The Hawks"; "Joe Bonson & Coffee Run" at 5 p.m.; "Brooke Unger" at 6:45 p.m.: and "The Cramer Brothers" at 7:30 p.m. At 9:30 p.m. there will be a "Jam Session" with The Cramer Brothers and Brooke Unger, Joe Bonson and Coffee Run, Tracey Lee and The Hawks.

Special attractions in the arena include: a fireworks spectacular at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday; Demolition Derby, Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m.; Antique Field Stock Tractor Pull, Friday at 4 p.m.; Professional Wrestling Event Extreme Hybrid Wrestling, Thursday at 7 p.m.; and a Horse Show Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Featured daily on the midway will be Farmer for a Day, Dapper Dan, Buster the Clown (5-8 p.m.) a Hit-and-Miss Engine display, chain saw carvings, and Smokey Bear

Scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. is a magic show and the Phydeaux's Flying Flea Circus and Wahoo Medicine Show is from 6-9 p.m..

The schedule for agricultural exhibits includes: Monday, Aug. 6 still exhibits arrive 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; still exhibits judging begins at 7 p.m.; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. the 4-H livestock entries arrive; and at 7 p.m., 4-H livestock weigh-in begins.

On Tuesday, at 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., rabbits and cavies arrive. At 10 a.m. judging will begin for the 4-H and Open Dairy Goat, 4-H Market Goat, and 4-H and Open Market Breeding Goat, and at 6:30 p.m., the 4-H and Open Rabbit and Cavy judging begins.

On Wednesday, judging will begin at 10 a.m. for the 4-H and Open Breeding Beef, 4-H Market Steer and 4-H Dairy Beef.

On Thursday at 10 a.m. is the 4-H Breeding and 4-H Market Swine judging and at 2 p.m., the 4-H and Open Breeding Sheep and 4-H Market Lamb judging will be held. At 6 p.m. 4-H Animal Dress Up Contest will be held.

On Friday at 9 a.m. is the 4-H and Open Poultry judging and at 2 p.m., the judging will be held for the 4-H and Open Dairy Cattle.

Saturday at 8:30 a.m. is the Horse Show. At 11 a.m. there will be a 4-H Livestock Buyers' Luncheon (by invitation only), and at 1 p.m., there will be the 4-H Livestock Sale (registration at event required if bidding).

The fairgrounds are located three miles east of the borough of Palmerton on Little Gap Road. Parking is free. There is an admission charge of $5 every day. Children under 10 are free when accompanied by an adult. Admission price includes musical and midway entertainment.

For additional information please call the fair office at 610-826-1862 or visit them on the web at www.carboncountyfair.com [1].