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Fried Twinkies And Racing Pigs - The County Fair Is Open!

The 2012 San Diego County Fair, themed "Out of this World,'' will begin a month-long run today. An opening ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. with a flag raising, singing of the National Anthem and entertainers.

Twinkies are frying and pigs are racing, the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar is officially open. The gates opened today for the fair's 24-day run.

Overhead and along the bustling Midway are new rides, new exhibits and new things to be fried.

Vendors of healthy food are sprouting up. But the fried delicacies remain a tradition. Charlie’s Chicken, famed for deep-frying anything edible, has opened up a new stand called Pineapple Express that features fresh fruits and vegetables -- no batter, no deep-frying.

Look to the skies to see the newly installed zip line that takes participants on an aerial adventure across the fairgrounds.

The fair's theme is Outer Space. Fair spokeswoman Linda Zweig says the intergalactic theme is "out of this world."

"It is all about spacemen, space travel, man’s fascination with space, the NASA program, also the unexplained and the weird and wild and whacky as well," she said.

If visitors need a break from the festivities, a new service called the “shopper shuttle” offers a lift from the fairgrounds to Del Mar and Solana Beach; the round-trip is free.

Admission prices are the same as last year: $13 for adults; $7 for kids and seniors; children under 5 get in free.

The fair opens at 11 a.m. on Tuesday-Friday and on July 2; it opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and on July 4. It is not open on Mondays, except for July 2. The last fair day is July 4.

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