The Merced County Fair opened its gates Wednesday for the 126th year of the annual festival. The fair will continue its run through Sunday.
For the past 125 years, the Merced County Fair has been an integral part of the fabric of Merced’s community. At a time when some California fairs have struggled greatly and a few have even ceased to exist, Merced County Fair is coming off of a record year in 2016 with a 14 percent increase in attendance, drawing in more than 74,000 people during the five-day Fair.
“That is a testament to the role our Fair plays in the community; it is an annual tradition where everyone comes together,” said Merced County Fair CEO, Teresa Burrola.
The entertainment line-up for the 2017 Table Mountain free concert series presented by Coors Light, includes an 8:30 p.m. performance on Saturday from Moonshine Bandits on the Outdoor Theatre Stage and a tractor pull at 7 p.m. in the Grandstand. On Sunday, Noel Torres will be performing at 7:30 p.m. on the Outdoor Theatre Stage.
“We switched a couple things up with entertainment and I’m really excited to see how the community responds to it,” said Burrola.
Additional free entertainment will include dance groups, a hypnotist, area musicians, cowboy tricks, and a karate demonstration.
Some of the attractions at this year’s Merced County Fair include a rock climbing wall, a spider crawl, a petting zoo, a Euro bungee, Lorikeets encounters, and camel rides. Of course, the Fair offers a multitude of carnival games and rides.
Admission to the music concerts is free with paid Fair admission, which is $8 for adults and $4 for kids 12 and under (kids 5 and under are always free) at the gate entrance. Grandstand shows are $5 and begin at 7 p.m. Children 5 years and under are free.
The Merced County Fair, first founded in 1891, represents the 35th District Agricultural Association.