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Film competition adds new wrinkle to Lake County Fair offerings

Grayslake IL 7/25/12 The Lake County Fair opened it's doors Wednesday as temperature soared in90's. Richard Zaleski Mundelelifts his grandsJacob

Grayslake, IL 7/25/12 The Lake County Fair opened it's doors Wednesday as the temperature soared into the 90's. Richard Zaleski of Mundelein lifts his grandson, Jacob Zaleski 4 of Lakemore and shows him and his brother, Joshua, 6 1/2 the chickens being displayed. | Rob Dicker ~ Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 24, 2012 1:30AM

GRAYSLAKE — Chuck Class and Ray Powroznik from American Legion Post 703 in Fox Lake admitted to a little case of the nerves when contemplating the raising of the American flag to open the Lake County Fair on Wednesday morning.

“I just didn’t want to do it in a lightning storm,” said Powroznik.

“It was really booming this morning,” said Class, adding that he’s performed the fair’s ceremonial flag raising for 10 years in all types of weather.

But by 10 a.m., the sun was starting to break through, and Old Glory went up without a hitch.

Fair spokeswoman Sue Markgraf said one focus this year was to mix “new elements and the traditional elements (to) provide something for everyone.”

One of those new features comes in the competitive field, where officials added a film competition with four different categories: Short-subject (44 minutes or less) narrative, short-subject documentary, short-subject animated feature and feature (45 minutes or longer).

“One of the signature events of the fair are all the different competitions we have, from livestock to crafts to photography, and we decided to add a film competition,” said Sheri Vyfvinkel, fair general manager, adding that no specific theme was required, agricultural or otherwise, because “we were interested in artistic freedom.”

Suggested subjects and themes included farm life, city life, family life, nature/wildlife, local history/heritage, generational/cultural experience, co-existence and ecological stewardship/the “green” movement.

The film competition was open to residents of all ages and levels of experience in Lake and Cook counties. Entries were required to be rated G to PG-13, with any profanity “bleeped or otherwise removed.” According to Vyfvinkel, more than 20 entries were fielded by a July 2 deadline.

All of the winning entries and honorable mentions will have their films screened for the public in the Expo Building. Screenings will be held today, July 26, from 2 to 5 p.m.; Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m.

Along with the film competition, other inaugural events and exhibitions at the 2012 fair, which opens daily at 10 a.m. and runs through 9 p.m. on Sunday, includes:

Chicago Flower and Garden Show, which is normally staged inside Navy Pier in March. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily on the west side of the fairgrounds, near the livestock pavilions. Markgraf, who also promotes the Navy Pier edition, said the exhibit will feature three garden displays with different custom-designed features. Also featured will be a mini-marketplace with garden products and services.

The 65,000-square-foot Expo Building in the center of the fairgrounds has what Markgraf called “a completely redesigned and different layout” from recent years, with features that include raised platforms to increase visibility throughout the hall.

In “The Pig Pen,” located north of the Expo Building, a pig-wing eating contest is scheduled to be held at 7 p.m. each day of the fair. Two top contestants from each night will advance to a final on Sunday, with the ultimate winner receiving $100 in cash and a pig roast for up to 100 people from the event’s sponsor, Porkie’s of Woodstock.

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