By Anthony C. Leo
By Anthony C. Leo
Though we are still two weeks away from the opening of your Stanislaus County Fair, our fairgrounds is already full of activity. It’s the time of year when we start to compress a lot of work into a little bit of time.
Our FoodMaxx Arena and horse barn areas are already abuzz with hoofs and tails in anticipation of the free pre-fair horse and mule events which are starting on Friday the 17th. You can find a complete schedule of events at stancofair.com. I did want to mention an extra special Open Gymkhana event on July 22; this horse show will be dedicated to breast cancer awareness and many of the riders and all of the horses will be wearing pink.
Our 72-acre, park-like grounds are already beginning to look like fairtime as we set up giant tents all around the grounds. One tent that has already been raised is 6,000 square feet—it covers our new Rainforest Adventure exhibit. Now that’s what I call, “a tent.” This extravaganza is ever changing, with tree roots emerging from foam in a can to gigantic tree trunks being painted on 120 yards of muslin.
Next week we will begin moving our five stages into place. Great entertainment will grace these stages, like Grand Funk Railroad on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage on July 31, our opening night. If your kids like green slime, you’ll want to catch our new Nick Live! show on the Charter Stage the first Sunday, Aug. 2. Dora the Explorer and her cousin Diego will also make an appearance on the Charter Stage on Thursday, Aug. 6—Kids Free Night.
Our fair guests are keeping us busy at our ticket office, as they take advantage of the discount pre-sale tickets offered. My tip to you—buy your admission tickets and unlimited ride wristbands in advance for big savings. In fact, a family of four can save about $30 if they buy in advance. This is a perfect way to have big fun on a small budget. While you are at it, make sure you secure your tickets for reserved seating at our ground-pounding, dirt-defying motorsports events in the FoodMaxx Arena.
Many of our 8,700 exhibitors are putting final touches on their 30,000 entries, from arts and crafts projects, to perfecting their special recipes, to finalizing their garden plans to prepping their animals for showing. You know, before our 10-day run is over, our judges will award 40,000 ribbons and rosettes to our talented exhibitors.
Activity is building in anticipation of our family extravaganza July 31 – Aug. 9. I look forward to seeing you here. I’ll be the guy in the golf cart with the “manager” sign on the front. Wave me over and say hello.
Tony Leo is chief executive officer of the Stanislaus County Fair. He has worked in the fair industry for over 25 years. This is his 12th Stanislaus County Fair.