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Cows, pigs and cavies — oh my!

POSTED July 28, 2009 8:27 p.m.
I can’t believe it’s already that time of year again. The streets of Turlock are clogged with horse trailers. Local boot retailers are seeing an increase in sales and quad riders of all ages are suping up their engines. Yes, the Stanislaus County Fair is back in town.
While many of you are active participants in the Fair, I know some readers are thinking, “Who cares about the silly old Fair?”
Well, you should care. The Fair is a link to our community’s agricultural past, a celebration of our present abundance, and a way to keep traditions alive into the future.
Turlock’s rise from a dust-filled valley to the Melon Capital of the World — with the creation of the Turlock Irrigation District — should not be forgotten. Neither should our link to that noble bird the turkey. For a good laugh, go to the Turlock Public Library and view the Oct. 26, 1981 issue of the Journal on microfilm. Pitman High head basketball coach and former Turkey Tech student Harvey Marable is pictured chasing a turkey across the Cal State Stanislaus campus during the city’s annual turkey races. (Sorry Coach Marable!)
From turkeys, we have moved on to almonds, walnuts and dairy. Last year I learned more about local nut growers and their crops than I thought possible due to the nut displays at the Fair and, of course, the daily tastings!
Who knows where Turlock’s agricultural future may lead. We could become the Cavy Capital of the World. Cavies are South American rodents that are related to the guinea pig — I learned this information from the rabbits story on Page 5 of the Journal’s Fair preview tab inserted in today’s issue.
While remembering our agricultural past and looking into the future is vital to local farmers, the county fair is just as important to town-dwellers. The Fair is more than just cows and pigs. The Fair gives backyard gardeners and amateur photographers a place to proudly show off their work and see what others of similar interests are doing. Youth and senior groups spend hours working on projects for the Fair. Families and individuals with a passion for painting or sewing or cooking can find a creative outlet at the Fair. The Stanislaus County Fair is the best community uniting event we have.
Believe it or not, the Fair is not paying me a penny for this endorsement. I just truly feel that the county fair is tradition we should hold on to. While our agricultural and industrial future is unknown, my love of corn dogs and funnel cakes will endure!
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail khacker@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.
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