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Fair prepares for centennial celebration
Children have been showing 4-H animals at the fair for 100 years. - photo by Journal file photo

Since 1911, the Stanislaus County Fair, formerly known as the Turlock Melon Carnival, has highlighted the county’s agricultural heritage while providing traditional family fun throughout its 10-day run. In July, the fair will not only bring sweet summer relief with its cornucopia of events, but also a special celebration in honor of the fair’s 100-year anniversary.

Big-name entertainers, more discounts and new additions to the children exhibits are already in the works to make the fair’s centennial run a special one.

The concert line-up has not being released yet, but offers have already been made to pursue big-name entertainers for the 2011 fair, said Adrenna Alkhas, Stanislaus County Fair marketing and communications director.

County fair staff is also focusing on making things more convenient for their guests with bigger discounts and easier navigation tools.

“We are going to have more promotions and discounts for some good fair savings,” Alkhas said.

They will even have fair savings coupon books available to help out people in the down economy.

Staff is also working on an iPhone and Android application that will provide an interactive map to provide easier access and navigation through all the exhibits, vendors and rides, she said.

“It will be easier to see what is going on at the fair,” Alkhas said.

A committee is being formed to prepare a historical exhibit comparing past fairs to present fairs.

They are hoping to make the exhibit interactive where guests can walk through and touch the different exhibits inside, she said.

Fair staff are also looking into unearthing a time capsule that is reported to be inside the fair’s golden arch entrance way. American Legion Rex Ish Post No. 88 built the arch back in 1929 and there are rumors that a time capsule has been placed in the pillars.

“They reportedly placed a time capsule containing their names behind one of the steel Legion and Auxiliary shields that adorn the pillars, though no one seems to know for sure which one,” reads the Turlock Pioneer bulletin of the Turlock Historical Society from Spring 1999.

Fair staff plan to reveal the time capsule in April, a week before tickets for the fair go on sale, Alkhas said.

Even with some big things coming to Turlock this July, fair staff want to keep the same traditions alive that started back in 1911.

“Looking back in the archives, the fair really hasn’t changed,” Alkhas said. “We have always had the 4-H kids showing livestock, carnival rides and the family feel.”

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.