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'Days of the Dinosaurs' among exhibits at RRV Fair

When the Red River Valley Fair opened this Friday, fairgoers discovered familiar festival fare along with some new models of extinct attractions.

"I think the dinosaurs are going to be a huge hit for us this year," says Bryan Schulz, general manager of the fair.

And this year the dinosaurs aren't aging rockers playing on the grandstand. Rather, Schulz is referring to the touring exhibit "Days of the Dinosaurs," what he describes as a "museum quality," animatronic models of the ancient reptiles.

Not to be mistaken for the touring "Walking with Dinosaurs" show that recently played the Fargodome, "Days of the Dinosaurs" features 17 mostly stationary, yet moving, beasts including a 20-foot high Tyrannosaurus rex.

Schulz hopes "Days" catches the wave of dino interest that the Fargodome show brought, but he adds that the fair's exhibit will be a little more interactive.

The fair's dinosaur exhibit allows people to touch and even ride certain creatures, which was not allowed at the Fargodome shows.

"Being able to get up on them and sit on them is huge," Schulz says, adding that the dinosaur show is free with gate admission.

This will be the first stateside show for the Belize-based exhibit.

Jodi Buresh, assistant general manager of the fair, said while she's happy with the few hundred fair Fun Pack tickets ($40 for nine passes) that have sold, she expects heavy walk-up business for the gate admission -- $7 for ages 12 and older, $3 for ages 6-11 and free for 5 and younger.

And though it's going to be a busy week around Fargo-Moorhead, Schulz isn't worried about the Red River Valley Fair overlapping with the Fargo Street Fair, which runs July 15 through 17 in downtown Fargo, and says he worked with the city's Downtown Community Partnership.

"I think we complement each other well enough that it's not going to draw one away from the other," Schulz says, adding that the Street Fair is more focused on arts and the RRVF has more entertainment options.

Some of this year's featured attractions include a wide range of foods on a stick (and some, such as sweet potato fries, that stand up on their own), the midway, daily music performances at the beer garden as well as concerts and live motor events at the grandstand each evening. For more information, call 701-282-2200.