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Livestock shows shatter records at 132nd Merced County Fair
Merced Fair
Colby Gomes with Hilmar High FFA earned Reserve Supreme Champion Bull at the 2023 Merced County Fair (Photo contributed).

Each June, roughly 70,000 people from throughout Merced County and beyond attend the five-day Merced County Fair. Fair management is still auditing this year’s final attendance numbers, but they can say that this year was no different, as folks took advantage of comfortable weather and plethora of entertainment.

“We could not have been blessed with better weather at this year’s Fair,” said Merced County Fair CEO Teresa Burrola. “The weather, coupled with the incredible entertainment value the Merced County Fair provides the community, definitely brought people out to enjoy time with one another. We are immensely grateful for this community who came out to enjoy the hard work we put into this year’s Merced County Fair, and for the participation of our exhibitors, community performers and more. You all play a special part in making our Fair so great.”

Outdoor Theatre shows included George Michael Reborn, Smash Mouth, Lonestar, The Purple Madness – A Tribute to Prince and the Banda Machos. Grandstand entertainment included Merced Speedway Auto Racing, Go-Kart Racing, Valley Tractor Pullers’ Tractor Pull, Destruction Derby and the Humpz & Hornz Gran Jaripeo.

Perhaps the biggest draw to this year’s Fair, though, were the livestock shows, which saw some record-breaking numbers.

The Small Animal Auction on June 8 in the Les McCabe Arena saw the sale of 119 animals generating $38,665 in sales. On June 9, the Dairy Replacement Heifer Sale generated $231,100 from 64 heifers sold. Everything culminated on June 10, with the Jr. Livestock Auction in the Hilmar Cheese Barn which generated $988,135.50 in sales from 585 animals exhibited and sold by 4-H, FFA and Independent Exhibitors. The 2023 Merced County Fair Livestock Auction ended with a record-setting $1,429,095.14.

“We are so proud of our annual Merced County Fair, not only for the fun and entertainment it brings to our community, but its financial impact with jobs and revenue for local businesses, which is estimated to be $23 million each year.” said Burrola. “We look forward to serving the community year-round and welcoming everyone back in 2024 to kick-off the summer with us.”

The 2024 Merced County Fair will mark the 133rd year of operation for the Fair, and will run from June 5 through the 9. For more information about the Merced County Fair, community members are encouraged to visit