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Fair time is upon us
Five attractions not to miss
Noble Everette enjoys making bubbles in the Wizards Challenge feature that has various science activities for all ages to enjoy. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

The fair is an annual summertime tradition to which many people look forward and this year the Stanislaus County Fair is no exception.

While many individuals enjoy perusing the classic fair-time activities such as taking their kids to the petting zoo or enjoying concerts at the Budweiser Free Variety Stage, there are many hidden gems at this year’s  Stanislaus County Fair. From wild rides to tasty new treats the Stanislaus County Fair is bringing locals a variety of entertaining musical acts, interactive activities, and innovative new foods.

Try the unique dish of shark bites (similar to popcorn shrimp) or dig into the enormous corndogs on which guests can be seen munching; pan for gold in the Farmyard Experience area or hear Wynonna Judd sing one of her classic hits; watch the Food Network film for their upcoming fall series “Carnival Eats” or witness your friend have one too many beer floats– whatever your fancy may be, the Stanislaus County Fair allows locals a way to not only enjoy their favorite summertime activities but to support the local economy.

Here is a list of five activities you won’t want to miss:


1. Wizard’s Challenge

Escape from the agricultural setting of the Stanislaus County Fair into a world of magic and fantasy by stepping through the doors of the Wizard’s Challenge. While this activity may be geared toward children, it is no doubt a course for individuals of all ages to explore. The fantastical oasis allows children to play with enormous bubble makers, run across a draw bridge, sit in front of a Morphing Mirror, identify wizard potions by scent and much more.

“Last year we had more than 120,000 people make it through the Wizard’s Challenge,” said Adrenna Alkhas, marketing and communications director for the Stanislaus County Fair.


2. Freak Out ride

Those willing to board the Freak Out ride should plan to avoid the tempting drinks and treats bordering the walkways as this wild ride will likely leave participants feeling woozy. A spinning ride that simultaneously swings riders up into the air and side to side, the Freak Out ride is not for the faint of heart — or stomach.

One of the newest attractions through Butler Amusements, the Freak Out ride provides riders a unique aerial view of the fair if they can manage to keep their eyes open.


3. Beer Floats

The Stanislaus County Fair is putting a twist on the classic root beer float by making this tasty treat adult-friendly through the use of Blue Moon and Guinness beers. Those 21 and older can order a refreshing beer topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and prepare to dig into a refreshing yet sweet treat.

  “Every year we want to find that bright, shiny, new penny to offer guests and this year that’s the beer float,” said Chris Borovansky, CEO of the Stanislaus County Fair, who tried the adult dessert at a ballpark in South Carolina and knew he had to bring it to locals to taste.

 Those looking to enjoy the beer floats can find them at the Turlock Rotary Club’s booth.


4. Farmyard Experience

This year the Stanislaus County Fair is bringing visitors more than a traditional petting zoo through their Gold Rush themed farmyard experience. Little ones will have the opportunity to pan for gold and learn about the Gold Rush period through informational decorations if they can manage to not be distracted by the multitude of animals surrounding them.

From baby chicks to piglets, small ponies and donkeys to alpacas, the Farmyard Experience is a fun place for the whole family. The kids can enter the Petting Zoo where they can find animals roaming such as baby goats, a turkey, chicken and more while mom and dad can peek at the unique animals surrounding the much-favored fair pastime.  


5. Rock-It Robot

This marks the second year that the Stanislaus County Fair has played host to Rock It Robot – a towering robot that can be found wandering throughout the entire fairgrounds. Rock It Robot is a roaming fair attraction that aims to interact with guests using cutting-edge technology to speak with them about their current state. Stomping through the fairground at more than six feet tall, the superhero like figure is sure to give guests a surprise amongst the agricultural backdrop. 


Don’t Forget:

The Stanislaus County Fair is also offering guests two new convenient features this year to make their fair experience as smooth as possible. Nursing mothers can head to the Mommy and Me Lounge sponsored by the Emanuel Medical Center to take care of their little ones in a comfortable and private setting.

Also, for those who arrived at the fair with low phone battery or are too busy uploading their fair experience on social media will be able to access the ReCharge Modesto Toyota Lounge — a building equipped with chargers for iPhone and Android devices.