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New fair additions include ‘Duck Dynasty’ stars, Spice Traders cookoff

The Spokane County Interstate Fair opened on Friday, bringing elephant ears, racing pigs and doughnut burgers to the masses.

Residents are urged to “Duck into the Fair,” which runs until Sept. 20. There are some additions to the live music, demolition derby and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo that fair fans enjoy year after year.

The fair will host a beard contest at 2 p.m. Sunday on the main grandstand stage. Fair organizers decided to add it to the schedule after the “Duck Dynasty” cast agreed to make an appearance this year.

“They’re all about the bearded men thing,” said fair coordinator Jessica McLaughlin. “It will be fun to see what they’ve got out there.”

Some of the men from the popular cable show “Duck Dynasty” – though not family patriarch Phil Robertson – will take the stage at 4 p.m. Sunday after the beard competition is over. Admission is $25.

Men who are competing in the beard contest had to submit pictures ahead of time, so it’s too late to enter the competition.

Another new competition is the Spice Traders Mercantile cooking contest at 1 p.m. today in the Home Arts Arena. Cooks were asked to craft recipes using at least three ingredients available at Spice Traders, which is located near Sprague Avenue and Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley.

Culinary judges will determine which of the food vendors at the fair has the best food in a competition starting at noon today. Vendors can enter in any or all of four categories: deep fried, signature, dessert and most creative.

“It’s one of my favorite days,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a big deal for them.”

Besides the usual fair animals, a section of the rabbit barn features exotic animals, including a baby zebra, a miniature Zebu and a wallaby. There are also two Patagonian maras, Argentinian rodents that look something like a kangaroo. Kids can feed a carrot to a camel for $1, and the more adventurous can ride the camel for an additional fee.

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