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Agriculture fair Cleveland County

84 years of agriculture and family fun

The 2008 Cleveland County Fair, in its 84th year, starts Thursday and runs through Oct. 4. The fairgrounds are at 1751 E. Marion St., Shelby.

The fair, known as one of the state's largest and best agricultural fairs, hosts 6,000 exhibits with 2,000 exhibitors and features music, food, family entertainment, horticulture, livestock, history, arts and crafts and the Reithoffer Carnival Midway.

Opening day ceremonies for the fair will start at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Performing Arts Stage. Gates will open at 3 p.m. both Thursdays, both Fridays, Monday and Wednesday; at 9 a.m. on both Saturdays; 10 a.m. on Sunday; and 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Gates close at 11 p.m. nightly. Cost: $7; $2 for kids ages 6-12; free for kids 5 and under; free for seniors 65 and older with I.D. Details: 704-487-0651; www.clevelandcountyfair.com.

Bridge festival New River Gorge, W.Va.

Fall into fun at West Virginia's Bridge Day

Oct. 8, Bridge Day, is the only day of the year when it is legal to walk over the New River Gorge Bridge, which towers 876 feet above the New River.

Festival-goers can take in the fall foliage, sample festival foods and purchase arts and crafts from as many as 180 vendors. Twenty-two rappel teams and more than 400 BASE jumpers will thrill onlookers as they glide down and leap off the bridge. www.officialbridgeday.com; 800-927-0263.

West Virginia American Water and New River Juniors are offering a Down Under Tour for those interested in watching the BASE jumpers from the bottom of the New River Gorge. Individuals can choose one of two times: 8:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. to board a van taking them into the gorge. $50 per person includes lunch.

There will also be a Bridge Day Motorcycle Ride, which will begin at Songer Whitewater's base camp and cross the bridge, then will turn onto Route 16 North, Route 60 East, then Route 19 North, back to Songer. To register: www.songerwhitewater .com; 304-658-9926.

Jazz festival Cheraw

Festival celebrates Dizzy Gillespie and all that jazz

The third annual South Carolina Jazz Festival in Cheraw will celebrate jazz legend and hometown hero Dizzy Gillespie on his birthday weekend, Oct. 17-18. He would have been 91.

The festival's featured artists include Nnenna Freelon, John Brown and the Carolina Jazz Orchestra, Jeremy Davis and the Equinox Jazz Sextet and Kat Williams. At 4 p.m. Oct. 17, a jazz parade will wind from Dizzy Gillespie Park on Huger Street to Centennial Park, followed by an evening concert at the Theatre on the Green. Saturday's events include a jazz breakfast at the Cheraw Rescue Squad Building ($5), 7-9:30 a.m.; an art exhibit by the Artisans of the South Carolina Cotton Trail at the Town of Cheraw Police Department, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Jazz and Art on the Town Green, noon to 4:30 p.m.; a birthday celebration for Gillespie at Dizzy Gillespie Park, 10 a.m.; jazz music in Centennial Park, noon-5:45 p.m., and at Old St. David's Church, which was built in 1770, 1:45-2:45 p.m.; and a gospel celebration at Wesley United Methodist Church, 3-4:30 p.m. Early evening jazz restaurant venues (6-7 p.m. both evenings): College Inn, Sharecroppers, Mayflower and Teal's Seafood. Late night jazz restaurant venues (10-11:30 p.m. both evenings): The Wine Factory, Oskar's, El-Sherif's, RawTown and The Oyster Bar. New to this year's festival is the outdoor Jazz Mass, 3 p.m. Sunday at St. David's Episcopal Church at the corner of Huger and Market streets. Everyone is invited. www.scjazzfestival.com. Rochelle Reynoldson

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