TROY - The time has arrived in Troy.

The fair has begun.

Today, the 138th Troy Fair kicks off at Alparon Park. It runs through July 27.

Troy Fair President Cathy Jenkins said she thinks that the fair this year "has a great line-up of shows for everybody."

Jenkins is excited about Kachunga and The Alligator Show, which is a free show in the Lower Meadow all week at noon, 2 p.m., and 7 p.m. She is hopeful that people will enjoy it.

"I think they will find it very interesting, something different than they see everyday," she commented.

The description of the show on the fair's website reads as follows:

"From deep in the swamps of Florida comes Kachunga, a real American Bushman who dares to step foot into the wet domain of the alligator. Watch in astonishment as he apprehends a ferocious man-eating reptile with his bare hands. Most people have never seen an alligator up close. The mystique of these giant reptiles is in itself a big draw. Now imagine the thrill of watching a man pit his strength and agility against nine feet 300 pounds of lashing tail and gnashing jaws in a dangerous dance of reflexes and cunning. Kachunga's struggle with the alligator keeps each member of the audience on the edge of their seat biting their nails and curling their toes. Kachunga and the Alligator is educational, funny and safe to view. The alligators are treated with respect and care and are not harmed in any manner."

Jenkins said there is a chance the show will bring a rare albino alligator.

If alligators aren't your style, there is the free Cook & Belle show. They are musical entertainers who will put on three shows daily on Thursday, Friday, Saturday in the new pavilion at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m.

Jenkins said they have opened for numerous entertainers. "They are extremely good, a show you won't want to miss," she said.

The fair's website notes, "Bret and Michelle have been performing at various fairs and festivals for the past 15 years. Entertaining thousands of folks throughout the U.S., this energetic duo is definitely a crowd pleaser. Cook & Belle have opened for such artist as: Dierks Bentley, Randy Travis, Rascal Flatts, Joe Nichols, Joe Diffie, The Charlie Daniels Band, Montgomery Gentry, Tracy Lawrence, Lonestar, Sara Evans, Phil Vasser and Craig Morgan. Having fun, playing great music (variety), and entertaining like nobody's business is what Cook & Belle bring to the Troy Fair."

A returning favorite is Michael Blaine, the popular hypnotist who will be performing on the Pavilion Stage in the Lower Meadow everyday for free. He can be seen at 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. daily.

"It's a very entertaining show," said Jenkins, noting that people "like to see their friends go up and do different things" while under Blaine's spell.

Dennis Beach, a National Champion Chainsaw Sculptor, will appear free daily. There is an auction of his carved pieces scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

On the first day of the fair, a "Troy Fair Through the Ages" display will be set up in the Large Tent in the Lower Meadow by the Troy Junior Fair Board. It features memorabilia from the past.

There is a Sportmen's Show all week.

"From what I understand, there's some really interesting mounts coming in," Jenkins said.

In addition, all the various exhibits of the Troy Fair Departments will be in the exhibit halls.

Dave Martin's Bullride Mania is back, after being canceled last year due to the storm. This is a paid show in the grandstand.

"I think it will be high demand," Jenkins said. "They were really disappointed when it couldn't be here last year."

The show is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 25.

There will be five entertainers different trackside at various times: Monday, Shane Stout; Tuesday, Twisted Years; Wednesday and Thursday, Eva Katherine; Friday, The RedEyes; and Saturday, Natural High.

Here is a description of Natural High from the fair's website:

"A trio of students from Towanda Area High School, the Natural High is: Josh Morgan on guitar, vocals and drums; Danny Wilhelm on bass guitar and vocals; and Jorden Isbell on drums, vocals and guitar. With original music and covers from the Beatles to Green Day, the Natural High rocks!"

The fair all features the popular tractor/truck pulls at 6:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and much more.

The big concert show is Trace Adkins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Jenkins said it is selling well.

Monday is Pepsi Day, Tuesday is Senior Day, and Wednesday is Milk Mania Day.

The fair's brochure notes that the fair's "Pay One Price" is $7, which includes admission to the fair, parking, all the on-grounds entertainment (with the exception of Grandstand shows), the rides and the fun house. Some non-mechanical rides may be excluded.

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: