This year the Merced County Fair is officially honoring those in the agriculture industry who work throughout the year to feed and support the county with its theme "Saluting Our Farmers and Ranchers."
True to its motto, the Merced County Fair will play host to the Merced County Certified Farmers Market growers who will hand out samples of their products every day of the fair's five-day run. Other featured fair events include an Amateur Home Brew Contest, and a contest to find the best barbecue master in the Best in the West Barbeque Rib competition.
Several classic fair elements will be returning this year including the petting zoo, 4-H and FFA animal projects as well as the nightly antique tractor parade near the main entrance. This year’s festivities are also taking an artistic turn as locals will be able to see locally made sculptures around the fair as part of the "Farm Junk" competition — the sculptures are made from salvaged farm equipment and can be purchased. Exhibitors have the opportunity to sell their work and the top three winners that receive the most votes will earn a cash prize announced on June 15. The final day of the fair also coincides with Father's Day and the Merced County Fair is offering free admission between the hours of noon and 3 p.m.
The fair opens on Wednesday, which is also Mercy Medical Center's Senior Day offering free admission to seniors ages 65 and over and there will be fireworks at night to kick off the five-day event. Thursday is Kid's Day where children will be admitted for free and can also participate in a variety of workshops, an agriculture-themed spelling bee and the Cutest Cowboy and Cowgirl competition.
Each night attendees can enjoy a different performance as part of the Table Mountain Free Concert Series. Christian music artist Lincoln Brewster will open the series with the likes of The Marshall Tucker Band and a Motley Crue tribute band, True 2 Crue, performing on the following nights. For a complete list of performances and fair schedules, visit www.mercedcountyfair.com.