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August 11, 2007

Nickelodeon's Slime Plays 2007 Illinois State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Nickelodeon has “slimed” numerous celebrities, game show contestants and kids in its 28-year history. Now, around 15 kids in attendance at the 2007 Illinois State Fair can count themselves among the ranks of Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Jack Black and P. Diddy as people who have had the green concoction dumped on them. As part of the station’s Slime Across America Tour, kids had the chance to be slimed, sing karaoke and give shout-outs to their favorite Nickelodeon shows during three performances Saturday.

 At each of three shows, staged at 12, 2 and 4 p.m. in the Gate 2 area, kids chosen from the audience had the chance to play various games, with winners moving on to the “Slime Potato” game. The game, played with five players, is exactly like hot potato, with each person getting slimed upon being eliminated. The first qualifying game, “Nick Did What on Television?,” was based on the old show “You Can’t Do That on Television.” Incorrect answers on Nickelodeon trivia questions or saying “I don’t know,” earned a bucket of slime to the head. The contestant who got slimed least moved on.

 Game two was the “Great Slime Race,” where teams poured slime from cup to cup and tried to get the most in their buckets in 45 seconds. The third game involved stacking foam cakes covered in a flour mixture and pouring slime over it in the quickest time and was called “Slime Cake Crazy.” The captain of the winning teams moved on to join the other winners and two randomly-selected audience members in the “Slime Potato” game.

 Jarrett Stanfield was one of the lucky kids chosen to get slimed by the Slime Across America crew. The Louisville, Ill., native sheepishly said he couldn’t wait to get back home to tell all his friends about the experience, which he summed up in one word.

 “Fun,” Jarrett said.

 And Jarrett’s favorite Nickelodeon show?

 “Spongebob Squarepants,” he said.

 His mother, Karon Stanfield, said that both Jarrett and his older brother wanted to get slimed.  She was glad at least her younger son got the change to fulfill a childhood dream.

 “(It was) awesome,” Stanfield said. “I knew he wanted it real bad, so I’m happy for him.”


Appearances by NBA players and mascot offer fairgoers unique opportunity

Also located in the Heartland, just down the street from the Nickelodeon’s Slime Across America Tour, is the NBA Fair.  The exhibit includes a number of “hands-on” experiences, including displays that allow fairgoers to compare their grip with those of NBA stars like Peja Stojakovic and Ben Wallace, compare their height to that of players like Shaquille O’Neal (7’-1”) and Nate Robinson (5’-9”), compare their shoe size to those of LeBron James and Steve Nash and compare their arm span with Yao Ming, who has a whopping eight-foot reach.

Fairgoers also can compete in a variety of shooting competitions and a slam dunk contest.  All competitors receive prizes.

Touring emcee Ryan Vesalpour said the NBA Fair is a family affair, with moms, dads, grandparents and grandchildren taking part. 

While returning fairgoers may recognize many of the activities, one thing is new: two NBA players and a mascot will be making appearances for the first time in Illinois State Fair history, Vesalpour said.

Harry the Hawk, the mascot for the Atlanta Hawks, entertained Saturday, Aug. 11, performing his patented “Chicken Feather” dance while Minnesota Timberwolves center Mark Blount posed for photographs with spectators.
 Blount also participated in NBA Stance, the NBA Fair’s rendition of Simon Says.

He said the NBA Fair is a unique opportunity for children to interact with NBA players instead of just watching them on T.V. or seeing them courtside. And, it’s a good opportunity for him “to be honest and have fun,” Blount said.

Blount encouraged fairgoers to come out while he’s here Sunday, Aug. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m.  “You might even be on my shooting team and win eight in a row,” he said with a laugh.

The NBA Fair will be here for the remainder of the fair. Along with Blount, Harry the Hawk also will return Sunday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Philadelphia 76er’s center-forward Steven Hunter will make an appearance Saturday, Aug. 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 19, from 2 to 4 p.m.


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