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July 25, 2006     Cape Gazette
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July 25, 2006

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a i iii CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, July 25 - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 15 CAPE LIFE Record crowd expected for Delaware State Fair Event promises fun, entertainment By Virginia Besche Special to the Cape Gazette The tents have been erected, the trailers wheeled in and tractors parked as the Delaware State Fair appears for its 87th year of festiv- ities. More than 300.000 visitors are expected over the 10 days of the fair. which runs through Saturday, July 29. Last year's unwavering heat caused a small dip in attendance, but this year. Mother Nature has agreed to sunshine and tempera- tures no higher than 90 degrees, so the number of guests should con- tinue to rise by the usual 6 percent per year. The Delaware State Fair is a nonprofit organization that keeps admission tickets low at $6 for adults and free for children under 9 years old.. There are also discoun( days throughout the week because of various sponsors; parking is free. There are also numerous attrac- tions for no cost. One of the new features this ! i year is the synthetic ice surface ':that allows skaters from the Centre Ice Rink the chance to per- form their country theme show called "Cool Country Crossroads." Since the regulation-sized ice rink is melted down each summer to make room for the expositions, the students at the rink never got the chance to showcase what they do. Now with the synthetic ice surface, the team can skate around in the room adjacent to the ice rink just as they would on real ice. Performances begin at 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., daily. Animals have always been a popular attraction at the fair, and this year will not disappoint fair- goers. Commerford's Exotic Petting Zoo is back for another season as well as the live birthing center and livestock shows. Barn Tours offers educational presentations all over the world that promise to "tell all the secrets and lies. lost stories and untold stories of farm- ing." Mysteries about a chicken's eggs may be revealed by looking at its earlobes. Barn Tours reveals the answer and more during the 30-minute program that will be running continually throughout the fair. Another exciting animal feature are the Marcan Tiger Preserve's Tigers of India, which showcase a variety of rare tigers that Marcan Tigers is involved with breeding and preserving. The performance highlights the tiger's natural behavior, and the nonprofit organization is dedicat- ed to treating the tigers exception- ally well and notes the show is not a circus act, there are no clowns and fire hoOps. The gate opens at 8 a.m, daily; carnival rides by Wade Shows begin at 1 p.m., and the exhibits are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit or call 866-335-3247. MAIN GATE Haley Smith photo The main gate to the Delaware State Fair opens at 8 a.m. The fair runs through Saturday, July 29. Skaters from the Centre Ice Rink, left, perform on the new synthetic ice sur- face. The troupe will per- form a show called "Cool Country Crossroads" three times daily throughout the fair. Virginia Besche photo Saltwater Portrait Transplanted stylist learns to love Sussex style By Jim Westhoff Cape Gazette staff For Denise Hitchens, moving from East Bronx, N.Y., to Milton took some adjustment. "It was a culture shock for me," Hitchens said, who moved here 14 years ago with her husband, Jeffrey. "It was a slower pace. The peo- ple here do things slowly. At first it drove me nuts, but now, the pace is fun." A soft-spoken woman with kind eyes, she said her family moved here for her husband's career. Jeffrey Hitchens works in heating and air conditioning, and the Delaware market offered more opportunity than New York. "When I first got here, I hated it," she said. "But after I got my hairdressing license transferred, I started to.enjoy it. The people here are just like everywhere else." Still, she is reluctant to give up parts of New York City culture. "I still buy food from New York, like real bagels and real Italian bread. "The cold cuts here are sliced way too thick," she said. "I go to the deli counter here and ask them to slice it really, really thin, like in Nev York. Sometimes they don't understand." But it is through working as a hairdresser that Hitchens became part of her new community. For her, being a hairdresser is not just about hair - it's about getting to know people. "They just feel like they are family to me. I get to them really well," she said. "It's like being a bartender I guess. Sometimes you do psychology from behind the Hitchens rents a chair at Hair Station in Lewes and has been doing hair for 36 years. She recalls setting beehives so they would survive strong winds. "I liked playing with hair as a kid," she said. "I thought maybe this is something I would like to do." But what she enjoys most is helping people with a complete transformation. "I really like it when someone wants a complete change," she said. "I try to encourage my customers to do that." Married for 36 years, she fond- ly recalls the night when she met her husband. "I met him at a club. He was standing behind me, ordering a drink and brushing my shoulder. We started talking, then he bought chair." .... me a drink, A few days later, he called me and that was it," she said. "He was a ladies man before he met me. When we first started dat- ing, his friends were amazed that he wasn't seeing anyone else." They were married June 28, 1975. Jeffrey and Denise have two children, Christopher and Nicole, and one grandchild; Louis. When asked what her greatest joys are, her quick answer is her children and grandchild. "Having both of my children" was the greatest joy of my life," she said. "Our life would be empty with- out them. The second greatest joy is my grandson. "He is the light of my life. For us, family ties are very important. That not true with a lot of people today.,, , years. - JimWeathoff photo Hitchens rents a chair at Hair Station in LeWes and has been doing hair for 36