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JAMESTOWN — For the Shappee family, the first night of the Jamestown Community Fair always means one thing: Good eats.

Tuesday’s kick-off of the 64-year-old annual event was no different. Sitting at a midway picnic table with his wife, Joann, and their three sons, Matt Shappee said after the main course of gyros and hot sausage sandwiches would come

apple dumplings, maybe another sandwich, then ice cream to top it all off.

And don’t forget the french fries. The Shappees were just some of those in line for the golden-fried, straight-cut little legends sold exclusively by the Jamestown Lions Club. Fair President Tim Barber recently said that booth is the whole reason some folks come to the fair.

“They’re excellent,” Shappee said, getting nods of agreement from his sons Eddie, William and Jason.

But it’s not just about the food.

There was also a teen dance and the crowning of 2007’s fair queen Tuesday, as well as rides, animal and student exhibits, a baked goods auction and numerous other events. The fair continues through Saturday, and features an array of attractions each day. Admission is free, but there are fees for Ride-a-Rama tickets and other special events.

The price of those tickets was money well spent for Keri and Scott Bankston, who took their 3-year-old son, Eddie, on some rides Tuesday.

“I liked that one,” Eddie said with an ear-to-ear grin after getting off the kiddie version of the Scrambler, a ride that lives up to its name by whipping its riders around in tight and fast circles.

“I like that one, too,” he said to his parents, pointing to the grown-up-size Ferris wheel nearby.

“You’ll have to wait for your sister to go on that one,” Keri said with a laugh.

That family lives in Andover, Ohio, and Keri said they visit the fair to keep in touch with Jamestown and her roots.

The fair “is a lot the same” as when she was growing up, and is still “fun for the small children,” she said. “We came just to bring (Eddie) back to what I grew up with — a fun little fair.”

Ryan Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at rsmith@meadvilletribune.com.

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