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State Fair of Louisiana opens to huge crowds in Shreveport - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

State Fair of Louisiana opens to huge crowds in Shreveport

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

The gates to the State Fair of Louisiana officially opened in Shreveport today to a huge crowd and beautiful weather.

"The Fair is in the Air" is this year's theme, but the event brings with it more than just food and fun.

Last year's attendance at the state fair was 431,000 over the course of the 2 and a half week run, bringing an estimated economic impact of $24 million.

Fair President Chris Giordano says they're expecting at least that many visitors again this year.

He says the fair employs several hundred people while it's in town and it also partners with many non-profits to make it all possible.

"We hire a lot of people. We work with a lot of non-profit groups such as the Knights of Columbus, Louisiana Teen Challenge, the Shreveport Job Corps, Frost Industries, and we have a lot of good partnerships here," says Giordano.

And behind all of the lights and games is an educational element called AgMagic, put on by the LSU AgCenter and Louisiana 4-H.

It's a way to open the eyes of area young people to exactly where our food and fiber originate.

Exhibits and displays are set up throughout the agriculture building at the fair grounds, aimed at teaching people about animals, plants, even insects.

There's an emphasis on the interactions between agriculture, the environment and society.

4-H agents say it's important to expose children at a young age to AgMagic.

"We've done some evaluations on what they've learned in AgMagic and they always have these 'ah ha' moments. These, 'wow, I never knew that. I learned this.' And so there's always those with all the kids," says Caddo Parish 4-H Agent Katherine Pace.

3,000 local students will come through AgMagic during the fair this year.

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