By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
2012 fair kicks off with a mob
fair prop pic1
A flash mob from the YES Company erupts in front of the big Ferris wheel at the Stanislaus County Fair on Friday. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

For more photos of opening night of the 2012 Stanislaus County Fair, visit


Smiles abounded at the 2012 Stanislaus County Fair opening on Friday — especially for fair visitors who saw Mike Munch of Modesto propose to his girlfriend Lorene Novoa in front of hundreds of people,  and she never saw it coming.

Mike, Lorene and her three children watched as a flash mob from the YES Company erupted in front of the big Ferris wheel around 8 p.m. Friday. Then suddenly Mike joined in the flash mob and Lorene was shocked.

“I kept thinking, why is he in there, he doesn’t even know how to dance?” she giggled after.

Moments later Mike knelt down and held out his ring while the flash mob and the crowd of people chanted “say yes!”

Through a grinning face she said yes and the crowd erupted. What a way to kick off the fair.

“I had no idea this was going to happen,” said Lorene.

The newly engaged couple already has a date set for their nuptials, Sept. 8 of this year.

Mike and Lorene weren’t the only ones who had a magical night.

Before the fair opened, Cindy Moore and her friend Gwen Yates, both long-time Turlockers, waited to get in. Both of the seniors said they have been coming to the fair since they were little girls. This year they looked forward to seeing the Rock Church demolition derby car.

“We are going to win this year because God is on our side,” joked Moore.

Despite soaring temperatures, Sarah Wright of Turlock and her daughter Alexandria settled in for the entire 10-day run with a tall cool Icee drink.

“We love coming to the fair, we have a daughter who is showing a rabbit and the kids have pictures and art projects they enter every year,” said Sarah Wright.

For Gabriel Del Rio, 13, the fair marks a life-long pastime — having his cartoon profile portrait drawn each year since he was a baby by caricaturist Barry Harding. Gabriel’s mother said every portrait is up in the family’s house.

Juan Gutierrez of Modesto and his family have also attended the fair for decades.

“The fair is like a family tradition, we love the food, the bright lights, the rides,” he said.

This year the fair runs through July 22. Children six and under are free.