Update 10:00p.m. 7/3/13
Opening day for the 26th annual Salem Fair ended a bit early Wednesday.
Mother nature slammed the fair Wednesday - with driving rain, wind and lightning.
Around 9:30 fair officials announced the event would wrap up early for the evening. But the show is set to go on as scheduled Thursday.
Salem Fair organizers say they hope the rain won't have too much of an impact on tonight's opening night. The fair opens for its annual 12-day run later today, and it is Fox 21/27 Night at the fair.
Fair organizers say you can expect a lot of things. They just hope a washout isn't one of them.
As of this morning, they say they still plan to open at 4 this afternoon, but they're keeping a close eye on the weather situation.
If Mother Nature does cooperate this evening, fans of the fair have a lot to look forward to.
We're talking 14 acres of carnival space on the midway: more than 40 rides, including the brand new Vertigo, which swings riders around 80 feet in the air, and more than 30 food vendors, including one that's going to be serving up fried gummy bears this year.
There's also a petting zoo, and nearly a dozen different shows and performances you can see, including Kachunga and the Alligator and a hypnotist.
All you pay for is the rides, the food, and the games. It doesn't cost anything to get into the fair, and all of the shows are free.
Fair organizers say they're hoping to see between 250,000 and 300,000 people out at the Salem Civic Center over the next 12 days.
"It's very dependent upon rain," says Carey Harveycutter, director of civic facilities at Salem Civic Center. "We've said many times in the fair industry, fair weather makes for a very good fair manager. But if you have rain, you deal with it and you go forward."
During the week, the fair will run from 4-11 p.m., and from noon-11 p.m. on weekends.
Each day, they'll be running different ride promotions where you can get unlimited rides for a special price.
Otherwise ride tickets are $1.25 each.
Organizers want to remind folks that because those ride promotions are day-specific, they can't offer rain checks on those.