2005 World Ag Expo opens with a bang

By C.J. Barbre

Unlikely though it was, weather during World Ag Expo last week remained for the most part dry and sunny. It wasn't until the day following the Expo that the skies opened up and pounded the south county with rain. Usually that happens during the show.

This year it was only tule fog that enveloped Tulare as streams of muscle pickup trucks flowed onto the grounds of the 2005 World Ag Expo on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

The day-glo orange volunteer jackets bounced out of the fog like emergency lights. Following TV cables inside the Heritage Complex, a local TV station was setting up to go live in front of an educational display, while inside the main hall, it was carnival time. Palm trees divided the room and decorated the stage area along with purple bougainvillaea climbing up poles and some pretty potted posies.

The Tulare Western Steel Band, decked out in Hawaiian shirts, pounded out a hot tropical beat. Behind them were bouquets of black and white helium-filled balloons. Black and white are holstein cow colors, a prevailing theme around the Expo, on trash cans, on tape reserving seats and adorning gift baskets full of cow and ag goodies. An orange jacketed volunteer stopped to stick black and white holstein cow stickers on I.D. cards being worn by the press and others seated in the audience. Holstein hat bands were also big for those wearing straw beachcomber-style hats. The popular Ag Expo baseball caps had a holstein embroidered on one side. One almost expected to see happy cows sipping pi

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