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Merced abuzz with Fair activity

County fair runs through Sunday

Merced abuzz with Fair activity

Food is half the fun at the fair.


POSTED July 21, 2009 11:20 p.m.
Fair-goers are catching the buzz this week at the 118th annual Merced County Fair. The 2009 fair is bee themed in honor of one of the county’s top agricultural products. The fair’s six-day run will include rides, live musical performances, food, animals and other exhibits.
Butler Amusement, inc. will bring over 30 family and children’s rides to the 2009 Merced County Fair. Butler Amusement bought one of its rides, the Balloon Samba, from Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch. The ride is one that parents and children can ride together. Also new to the fair, and the world of carnival rides, is the “wind surfer” ride. This unique new ride can seat up to 16 people. All-day ride passes will be $30 during the fair, in addition to the cost of fair admission.
Anyone looking for some free entertainment during the fair can catch any live music performance. The opening act on Tuesday was Sawyer Brown. Other bands playing at the fair include Kansas and Merced County Fair veterans, War. Kansas will perform hits including “Carry on Wayward Son” on Friday. War, who played the Merced County Fair in 2004, will perform again on Thursday.
“American Idol” finalist Bucky Covington will take the stage on Saturday. Covington was on season five of the signing talent show, and he has since released two albums.  
Today, The Beatles Project, described as a cover band that “plays The Beatles’ music the way it would sound today,” will be re-mixing old favorites. The final performance of the fair will be Jose Feliciano, a Grammy award winning artist known for his hit “Light My Fire.” Feliciano will be performing on Sunday.
Other non-musical entertainment will be taking place throughout the run of the fair. There are daily motorsport and rodeo events at the Grandstand, including a destruction derby today. The yearly tractor and 4 X 4 pulls will take place on Friday.
There will also be “strolling acts” on the fairgrounds. There be a hypnotist, a juggler, clowns, and other roaming entertainers during the fair. A Guitar Hero contest will debut this year at the fair, giving gamers a chance to show off their musical skills.
This year Old MacDonald’s Farm in the livestock area will be home to not only a petting zoo, but also a live bee colony that fair visitors can observe. The exhibit area will include a human-sized bee box where visitors can peruse information about bees, honey, and colony collapse disorder. One of the goals of making the bee the theme for this year’s fair was to educate visitors about the necessity of the insect to agriculture.
For a full schedule or more information visit www.MercedCountyFair.com.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.

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