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Friday, May 6, 2016

Conservation exhibits a big part of state fair

Thursday, August 7, 2003

Outdoor adventures aplenty await Missouri State Fairgoers, with programs ranging from living history to practical crafts.

The fair runs Aug. 7 through 17 in Sedalia. The Missouri Department of Conservation's pavilion at the south end of the fair grounds will host the Lewis and Clark Dugout Canoe Crew this year. The living history program gives visitors a glimpse into the daily life of the Corps of Discovery as it made its way up the Missouri River in 1804. Modern-day explorers in period dress will be chopping out a 28-foot dugout canoe and answering questions about the role of Missouri's namesake river in the historic expedition.

Also on display will be a half-scale model of Lewis and Clark's river keelboat.

The Conservation Department's "Show-Me Missouri Fish" mobile aquarium will be on display with practical programs on fishing techniques at 1, 4 and 6 p.m. daily. The demonstrations provide a unique opportunity to see how baits simulate the movement of prey to attract fish. A wide array of fish native to Missouri will be on display in other aquariums, too.

People who are more interested in land animals can check out the live displays of snakes, a bobcat, a red fox, a raccoon and a groundhog. And if tastes run more toward wildflowers, a visit to the flower beds showcasing native plants might be in order.

Conservation Department Public Relations Specialist Ralph Duren will take fairgoers on an audio tour of outdoor Missouri with his astonishing wildlife calling ability at noon and 3 p.m. daily.

From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day, fairgoers can escape the summer heat in the air-conditioned Conservation Discovery Room. There they can enjoy a host of hands-on exhibits, including a wildlife track-making table and animal furs, as well as river, forest, prairie and cave exhibits.

As always, Conservation Department experts on fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, forests and wildlife management will be available to answer questions.

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