The theme is “It’s Easy Being Green,” as the 2011 Cowlitz County Fair opens today and runs through Sunday. As usual, the event will kick off with the annual Kiwanis Kids Day Parade, with local children marching through downtown Longview to the Fairgrounds. Lineup starts at 10 am at Commerce and Florida, then the parade itself starts at 11 am, coming down Commerce to Maple, cutting over to 7th Avenue, then up 7th to the Fairgrounds. The fair itself opens at 11 am, and will be open to 10 pm tonight; they’ll be open until 11 pm tomorrow and Saturday, and from 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday. This year’s fair will feature a new carnival vendor, Davis Cascadia Amusement; they’ll also have the fair’s first-ever Thunder Mountain Barbecue Championship, a competition that’s officially sanctioned by the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association. Country Music star Jo Dee Messina performs tonight at 7 pm; Messina says that a portion of tonight’s concert will be dedicated to Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter; she says that she was deeply touched after hearing about his murder, and plans to dedicate a song to his memory. She also says that they hope to show at least a portion of his funeral procession at tonight’s show. The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo runs tomorrow and Saturday, and the Demolition Derby will be held at 2 pm on Sunday. Big crowds are expected as the weather should be perfect this year; admission to the fair is free, but separate tickets are required for tonight’s concert, the rodeo and the demolition derby.