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Reporters Notebook A Perk, If You Will
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The Rainforest Adventure exhibit was filled with children who got a sneak peek at the elaborate display of rain forest animals during the media preview day at the Stanislaus County Fair, Thursday, July 30. Pictured, a group of students got up close and personal with a real alligator provided by Brad’s World of Reptiles of Oregon. Sky Trek Aviation sponsored the exhibit that features three 20-minute animal shows and is open every day and night of the fair. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader
In this day and age there are precious few perks to be found in this business so I always make it a point to attend the Media Day offered at the Stanislaus County Fair the day prior to opening for the public. In the six years since I’ve been with The Leader, I’ve only missed it twice (once because I was on bedrest during my last pregnancy, and another when I went to Georgia for my first RWA conference).
This year it was smashing good fun (as it always is) and I’m happy to share the experience with our readers so that perhaps if they were on the fence about whether or not to attend the fair this year, it might tip them to the side of going.
I don’t have the space to wax poetically about everything we saw and experienced, so this will be more of a highlight reel starting with the Rain Forest Adventure sponsored by Sky Trek Aviation. Wow. This is a fun, family-friendly 8,000 square-foot exhibit featuring creatures that slither, crawl, swim, lumber, fly and slink —†basically something for everyone to enjoy! I shuddered at the giant scorpion (the handler assured me it was a gentle giant with very weak pinchers) and wondered at the alligator snapping turtles but the Capuchin monkey stole the show. There’s a reason the Capuchin monkey was the one in the movie Night At The Museum. That sucker was too cute for words. (Aren’t most monkeys?) This is a fun exhibit for kids and adults and I highly recommend it.
Part of the allure of the fair is the rides and we took a turn on the newest and greatest ride from Butler Amusements, a $500,000 wind surfing ride that was unveiled for the first time at the Stanislaus County Fair. I loved it. It’s fun and made me laugh. You know, sometimes you have to make sure that you’re not taking yourself too seriously and that’s what a good ride is for. My coworkers took some really unflattering photos of me while I was enjoying myself but it was all in good fun. (Don’t even ask to see those ones…they’ve already been dumped in the cyber wastebasket!)
Food at the fair is deliciously fattening and artery-clogging but that’s the point. This year, the piece de resistance is the return of the mini donuts. Oh, my. Can you say delish? Pop on by the Costco Commercial Exhibits Building and get yourself some of these yummy bad boys. And then hop on over to the milk barn for a milkshake that’s out of this world. If you’re really gunning for a new dress size, don’t forget a good old-fashioned corn dog with a healthy slathering of mustard or how about a fatty corn-on-the-cob dripping with butter? Oh yeah. Good stuff.
Oh, and forget about the hassle of parking. Who needs that stress when the fair has contracted with Delta Charter to ferry fairgoers to and from the fair for free! Seriously, people, this is fabulous. Every 15 minutes a bus comes along and there you go. What a great idea. Hopefully, this becomes standard practice because it gets two thumbs up from my family and I.
So, there you have it. The highlight reel. I left out a bunch of great stuff so take your family and enjoy some good, clean fun courtesy of the Stanislaus County Fair.