The Stanislaus County Fair is in full swing and runs through Sunday, July 21.
On the final day of the fair, visitors will be admitted for free from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The fairgrounds and buildings are open Monday through Friday at 5 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays at noon.
The Farmer’s Market is also new to the fair in the Imagine the Food Exhibit Building. Sample and purchase fresh, organic produce, candies, almonds, and freshly cut fruit. It’s open weekdays at 5 p.m. and on the weekend at noon. The buildings close every night at 11 p.m., and the Farmer’s Market closes at 8 p.m.
Be sure to check out the new Toy Train exhibit in its own building offered by the San Joaquin Valley Toy Train Operators, Inc. Various sizes of model trains, tracks, and village decorations are on display and running.
The K9 Kings Flying Dog Show is back this year with two shows daily during the week at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., then on the weekend with three shows at 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. Watch these canine athletes do high flying stunts and tricks.
Butler Amusements is operating the Midway this year with 32 attractions. A new ride at the fair carnival is the Raptor, a rapidly spinning ride that will likely bring out the screams. Plus there are lots of game concessions to try your hand at winning stuffed animals and prizes. The carnival hours are Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday and Sunday are noon to midnight.
New food vendors at the fair include a deep fried 5-alarm burger offered by Lucky 7 Concessions, The Cupcake Lady and her truck of cupcake offerings, jambalaya and seafood gumbo from New Orleans Catering, Indian fry bread offered by Munch-a-Bunch, cinnamon roasted nuts from Crazy-4-Nuts, and barbecue foods offered by Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ.
Of course, there are still the fair standbys that include corn dogs, cotton candy, and various types of sausage sandwiches, ice cream cones, milkshakes, Kettle Korn, caramel apples, tacos, pizza, fish and chips, and plenty of deep fried offerings.
If the food variety still does not fill your needs, stopping by the Farmers’ Market might be the answer. This year guests will be able to purchase and taste an assortment of fresh organic produce, warm roasted almonds, and fruit which is grown and produced by local farmers in the Central Valley.
The magical world of science has been brought to the fair. A new interactive exhibit called the Wizard’s Challenge is the newest addition to the kid zone. Participants will have several activities to enjoy like creating man-sized bubbles, use of a plasma ball, walk through a rotating cylinder, and much more.
Still upcoming at the fair for livestock, many local exhibitors will show various species in different classes, as well as sell their market animals in the auctions. The Small Animal Auction is Friday, July 19, the Junior Livestock Market Steer Auction is also July 19, and the Junior Livestock Auction for swine, sheep, and meat goats is on Saturday, July 20. Check fair listings for details.
The entertainment at the fair this year has a little something for everyone. Huey Lewis and The News will hit the Budweiser Variety Free Stage tonight, Wednesday, July 17 at 8:30 p.m. Tower of Power will be performing on Thursday, July 18 at 8:30 p.m. On Friday, July 19, Morris Day and the Time will hit the stage to perform for guests. For country music fans, Gloriana will entertain fairgoers on Saturday, July 20 at 8:30 p.m. with hit singles like “Can’t Shake You” and “Kissed You Goodnight.” El Coyote y su Banda with special guest Manuel Romero will wrap up the entertainment with a performance on Sunday, July 21.
In the Food Maxx Arena, the Valley Stock Tractor Pullers, including 4x4s are doing their thing tonight at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $8 in addition to fair admission. The CCPRA Rodeo is Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free with fair admission. On Friday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m., the Freestyle Moto X featuring Metal Mulisha will pack the arena. General admission is $12 plus fair admission. On Saturday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m., The Motocross/QuadCross and Pee Wee Bikes will be racing in the arena. General admission is $10 plus fair admission. Wrapping things up on Sunday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m. will be the Mud Bog/Races and Lawn Mower Races. Admission is $10 plus fair admission.
For more information about the fair go to the website, www.stancofair.com.
Leader staff reporter Virginia Still contributed to this story.