Celebrate Fairfax!, the 23rd annual county fair, begins its three-day run tomorrow at the county Government Center with an expanded crafts marketplace, a NASCAR show car, a special sports presentation by ESPN and a day of Latino entertainment among the additions to the hundreds of programs, exhibits, rides, performances and food.
In past years, the fair has drawn an estimated 100,000 people. Organizers said that because nearly two-thirds of those who attend are return visitors from the previous year, they must keep adding attractions in addition to the usual concerts, children's activities, science center, fireworks and carnival rides.
Nearly 100 performances are scheduled on six stages. More details are in the Live! column on this page.
Organizers said this year's crafts market will have 70 vendors. ESPN's "the Truck" features a high-definition surround-sound theater and stations to play the latest motor-sports video games. NASCAR driver Ryan Newman's No. 12 Dodge Intrepid show car will be displayed in the children's area, and two driving simulators will allow participants to experience the thrill of NASCAR.
Fireworks will cap the events tomorrow and Saturday nights.
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and members of the military, $4 for children ages 3 through 10 and free for children 2 and younger. Concerts are free, but charges for carnival rides, food, arts and crafts and souvenirs are in addition to the admission fee.
Carnival ride tickets cost 75 cents each; most rides require three to five tickets. Carnival hand stamps, for unlimited rides, are $15 and are available Saturday and Sunday.
The Government Center is at 12000 Government Center Pkwy., near Fair Oaks Mall. Hours are 6 p.m. to midnight tomorrow, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The fairground is accessible by free shuttle bus from parking lots at Fair Lakes Shopping Center and Fair Oaks Mall. The Fairfax Connector will give free rides between the fair and the Vienna Metro station.
A list of times for entertainment and other programs, as well as general information, is at www.celebratefairfax.com. The telephone number is 703-324-3247.