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Crowds Pack Fairgrounds for the Fourth

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RALEIGH — No matter what your doing for Independence Day, chances are you'll finish the day with fireworks. There's no better way to celebrate the fourth of July. Many people got a head start on the festivities by turning out at the state fairgrounds for food and fun.

Fifty-thousand people are expected to converge on the state fairgrounds. At the time of this report, things were just getting started. Many of the pre-firework activities are focused on kids.

"There is lots of entertainment for kids," explained Cindy Trumbower of Raleigh Parks and Recreation. "All of the amusement rides are free. There's a kid's zone with in-line skating, and all sorts of games for kids-- and a puppet show."

It's Raleigh's 30th annual fourth of July celebration, and the city's largest Independence Day event has attracted hundreds of families to the fairgrounds.

One of the most popular kid's activity is sumo wrestling. Then there are plenty of ways to cool down-- with a slice of watermelon, for example.

Trumbower explained that although the crowds were smaller earlier in the day than were expected, by 6:00 p.m., organizers expected many more people to show up.

The official Independence Day celebration gets underway at 8:00 p.m., with fireworks being set off at between 9:25-9:45 p.m.