(SEDALIA, Mo.) – The 113th Missouri State Fair, themed “Show Offs Welcome,” kicks off this Thursday in Sedalia. More than 40,000 visitors are expected through the gates Aug. 13, and many are looking to reap the values being offered on gate admission and at participating vendors. Fairgoers in attendanceon Thursday will also enjoy State Fair traditions, including the Opening Day Ceremony and Parade.

“The Missouri State Fair prides itself on offering affordable family fun in the heart of our state,” Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe said. “Opening Day is a great opportunity for fairgoers to receive the full Fair experience at the best value.”

The Fair’s opening day, themed “Show Off the Savings,” will offer $4 gate admission for visitors 13 years of age and older, $2 admission for ages 6-12, and free admission for kids 5 and under every day. Many concessionaires and vendors will offer special discounts on this day as well. A complete list of specials offered exclusively on Thursday, Aug. 13, will be available at the Fair’s information booths.

The Opening Day Ceremony will be the first official State Fair event, beginning at 10 a.m. outside the FFA Building. This year’s ceremony will include a special recognition of those who have helped shape and mentor young agricultural leaders in Missouri and mentors from both 4-H and FFA will be in attendance. Special guests will also include 100 youth representing the Boys and Girls Club of West Central Missouri. The youth are being sponsored by the Kansas City Area Toyota Dealers Association; Toyota is the official vehicle of the 2015 Missouri State Fair.

The time-honored parade will commence at 6 p.m., and will include more than 75 units. MFA Incorporated, sponsor of Opening Day, will lead the parade down State Fair Boulevard.  Other parade entries will include the world-renowned Budweiser Clydesdales, antique and classic cars, farm vehicles and themed entries.

A bonanza of free entertainment will be offered during the 11-day State Fair, including Brandon Lay performing at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Members Only performing at 9 p.m. on Opening Day on the Budweiser Stage. The Happy Together Tour 2015 – with The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, The Association, Mark Lindsay (Former Lead Singer of Paul Revere and The Raiders), The Grass Roots, The Buckinghams, and The Cowsills will kick-off the Pepsi Grandstand concert series at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 13. Tickets can be purchased for $20 and $25 from the State Fair Box Office.

For more information on Opening Day, and other highlights of the 11-day showcase, visit www.mostatefair.com, follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter, or call 1-800-422-FAIR (3247). The 113th Missouri State Fair, themed “Show Offs Welcome!” will be held Aug. 13-23 in Sedalia.

(Courtesy of Missouri State Fair)