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Merced County Fair draws big crowds throughout five-day run

The Merced County Fair’s Board of Directors, Management and staff reported significant support for the 2024 Merced County Fair presented by Valley Children’s Healthcare, which ran June 5 through 9. While fair management is still auditing final attendance numbers, big crowds of smiling fairgoers showed up to enjoy a fun and safe 2024 Merced County Fair featuring everything from dynamic attractions and shows to delicious fair food, exhibits, carnival rides and more.

“We are blessed with a community that loves and supports its fair – regardless of the temperatures outside,” said Teresa Burrola, CEO, Merced County Fair. “Family and friends showed up to enjoy all that the Merced County Fair offers from live music and grandstand shows to exhibits, carnival rides, food and more! We are grateful to bring this tradition to the community year after year – and enjoy seeing each smiling face that passes through our gates.”

A special Opening Ceremonies event kicked off the Fair, at which Merced County Sheriff Department’s Honor Guard conducted the flag presentation, while Miss Merced County’s Teen Hallie Billings sang the national anthem. The Merced School Employees Credit Union was named as the 2024 Sponsor of the Year, while a special tribute to the late Tony Rossi – a longtime fair supporter and track announcer – was held, including a moment of silence.

For the third year in a row, thanks to presenting sponsor Valley Children’s Healthcare, kids 12 and under were free into the fair every day, providing an incredible savings for families. During the five days of the fair, the Grandstand was busy with excitement. The Merced Speedway Auto Racing kicked off the fair with shows on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by Valley Tractor Pullers’ Tractor Pull on June 7. Crowds packed the grandstands for the Destruction Derby (June 8) and Jaripeo Tremendo (June 9) to close out the fair – all made possible thanks to sponsors Table Mountain Casino Resort, Coors Light, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Save Mart and FoodMaxx. Fairgoers also enjoyed free live music and entertainment on the Coors Light Stage and the Dignity Health – Mercy Medical Center Stage, not to mention packed shows in the Outdoor Theatre as part of the free Table Mountain Concert Series presented by Coors Light. Fairgoers also enjoyed thrilling carnival rides provided by Butler Amusements, which had 34 rides in total. The Sunshine Lane Family Area was filled with families enjoying everything from the Pony Rides to the Petting Zoo, plus the popular Alaskan Racing Pigs and new Pedal Pullers sponsored by Valley Children’s Healthcare and Joseph Farms Cheese. In the Arts Pavilion, there was a new Barnyard Mardi Gras Mask Making area, which was free for fairgoers. Plus, given the warm temperatures, the new Blue Devils Tailgate Party Zone made possible by Merced Community College provided a cool place to hang out with misters, fans and of course, cornhole.

As always, livestock draws in the crowds and big support from the community, which is evident in this year’s record-breaking livestock numbers. The Small Animal Auction on Friday, June 7 in the Les McCabe Arena saw the sale of 148 animals generating $44,980 in sales. Also on Friday was the Dairy Replacement Heifer Sale in the Les McCabe Arena, which generated $344,400 from heifers sold. Everything culminated on Saturday, June 8, with the Jr. Livestock Auction in the Hilmar Cheese Barn, which was a big success generating $1,172,400.50 in sales from 613 animals exhibited and sold by 4-H, FFA and Independent Exhibitors, with add-ons still coming in.

The 2025 Merced County Fair will run June 4 through 8.