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LIP-SMACKING, BUBBLE-BLOWING FUN AT FAIR

LIP-SMACKING, BUBBLE-BLOWING FUN AT FAIR

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Several kids got together Sunday to exchange blows, and although there were no injuries, when it was over, many were out of breath.

The action took place during the ``The Big Bubble Yum Blowout' at the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem. Contestants ages 8 to 14 competed for prizes for the ``Most Totally Awesome Bubble,' the best ``Double Bubble' and the most ``Just Can't Stop Poppin' Bubbles.'Catherine Kahl, 13, decided to show her bubble expertise at her friends' encouragement.

``They talked me into entering and I decided to do it for the fun of it,' she said. ``I chew a lot of gum so I said: 'Why not?' '

Kahl was one of 26 participants in the best ``Double Bubble' contest. After a brief struggle with her first bubble, she was able to produce a small, silver-dollar sized double bubble.

A seventh-grader at Summit Junior High School in Winston-Salem, she said she wasn't aware of the double bubble technique until recently, when her friends showed her how to do it.

Amber Hartsoe, 8, won first place in the contest and received a trophy. Jessica Drew Rogers, 9, and Leslie Thomas, 9, tied for second and received Frisbees. Kahl and four other contestants tied for third place.

Kahl received a T-shirt and, although she admitted to practicing once or twice before the competition, she said she did not enter the contest for the prizes.

``This is neat,' she said. ``I wanted to come to the fair and have fun, and this is just part of it.'

The gum-blowing contest was one of many events at the fair, which runs through Saturday.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will appear today, a Mayberry reunion with Goober and the Darlings will take place Tuesday, and a spitting contest will be Friday, among other events.

Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for children 6-11.

Total fair attendance was 279,000 last year, and the goal this year is 300,000, said Bob Morphis, fair advertising director.

``The fair is a place where you can go and have a good time and you don't have to spend a lot of money to do it,' Morphis said. ``If the weather cooperates, we expect record crowds this year.'

This is the 108th Dixie Classic Fair, and Morphis said it's a tradition for many area families.

``I'm always surprised at how many adults turn out each year. This is definitely a place where adults can be children again,' he said.

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