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2002/08/15

Lights Added To Harness Action For First Time At 2002 Licoln County, Tenn. Fair by Tom Burriss In 1988, a last bastion of society made its resistant leap into the technological age. That was the year that Wrigley Field in Chicago had lights installed. On August 8 the first night game was played. It was simply due to the fact that fans were just not able to make it to day games anymore. An era when a 1:05 p.m. start on a Wednesday afternoon was legitimate excuese to miss work has now gone. For nearly the same reasons which motivated Wrigley to make the leap to light speed, so too has the Lincoln County Fair made this step. For 97 years, the Lincoln County Fair has hosted some of the finest harness racing to be found in Tennessee and the Mid-South. Of course things have changed. Always a crowd favorite, the harness racing has been experiencing dwindling crowds over the years. "It used to be that farmers could shut down in the middle of the day and watch the races," say Lincoln Co. Fair board member John House. The assumption is that work restricts people from coming to the races and is responsible for the lack of attendance. So for the first time on Thursday September 12, 2002, the Lincoln County Fair will hold its harness racing under the lights in order to revive the attendance by fervent race fans. Fifteen, fifteen foot tall portable construction lights have been brought in to douse the track in light for the 7:15 p.m. start. Acoording to House, they are using portable lights right now as an experiment. If the experiment is successful with the lights, then permanent lights will be considered around the half-mile track. Some of the racers have been already practicing at the track with the temporary lights, "and they say it is lit better than most tracks they go to," House passed on. Harness racing at the Lincoln County Fair will be held at the fairgrounds in Fayetteville, Tuesday, September 10 through Saturday September 14; post time will be 2 p.m. everyday except Saturday which starts at 1p.m. The inaugural night races will be held on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m., post time at 7:15, and will be held in addition to the 2p.m. races that day.

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