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county fair

CA County Fairs 2023 Guide: Where To Find The Fun In California

in Entertainment/Events/News

Ready to stop and smell the corn dogs?

County fairs — annual extravaganzas that lure thousands with fun, food and entertainment— return in full force in 2023 throughout California communities.

Continue reading on Patch

Ceres native Matt Cranford resigns as County Fair CEO for State Fair position

in Community/Government/News

After more than seven years serving as CEO of the Stanislaus County Fair, Matt Cranford is leaving his position to oversee facility operations at California Exposition and State Fair. As the Stan County Fair searches for a permanent replacement, concessions manager Kim Williams will serve as interim CEO.

Cranford said that the opportunities at the state level came fast, and that it was a unique opportunity that he felt couldn’t be turned down.

Continue reading on Ceres Courier

Where, when to see Spanish comedian and band Slightly Stoopid in Modesto region

in Entertainment

Turlock Community Theatre brings in a Spanish-language comedy show and Ironstone Vineyards presents a concert by the band Slightly Stoopid. It’s also your last chance to visit this year’s Stanislaus County Fair, as well as catch the latest Sierra Repertory Theatre production. Here’s a look at some of the Modesto and Mother Lode region entertainment options from July 16-22.

Comedian Teo Gonzalez brings his Spanish-language show to Turlock Community Theatre. Gonzalez has had a lasting career in Mexico and the United States as a stand-up comedian, as well as on television.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

A 4-Her and a puppeteer agree: It’s great to have the Stanislaus County Fair back

in Events

Everything is lining up well for the first full-on Stanislaus County Fair in three years.

Carnival workers assembled rides and game booths during Thursday’s media preview on the Turlock grounds. Other crews prepared spaces for concerts and motor sports. And young people tended to their livestock in advance of judging and auctions.

COVID-19 sharply limited the 2020 and 2021 fairs. The pandemic has receded enough to allow crowds to mingle, carefully, during a 10-day run that starts Friday, July 8.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

‘The Fun is Back’: Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Stanislaus County Fair

in Fun/Upcoming event

The Stanislaus County Fair returns in full force this year, promising plenty of entertainment, arena events, carnival rides, livestock and more.

Because of the pandemic, the 2020 fair consisted of only online livestock competitions and drive-thru versions of a few food booths. The 2021 expo had livestock and motorsports back in person but the carnival and most of the food were missing.

But this year, the fair – which usually draws more than 200,000 people – has a 10-day slate of traditional events, set for July 8-17 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Summer blowouts abound in Modesto region with July Fourth celebrations and county fair

in Events/Upcoming event

Celebrations of American independence highlight Modesto region entertainment this weekend. While several communities will have events, three are highlighted below.

Country singer Chris Young also comes to the Fruit Yard Amphitheatre, there’s a craft fair in Arnold and the Stanislaus County Fair is set to begin. Here’s a look at just some of what’s planned July 2-8.


The city of Modesto and the Modesto Kiwanis Club present the “United We Stand” parade celebrating Independence Day in downtown. The parade begins at 10th and F streets, moves to J Street, then back to 11th Street to I Street, ending at 17th Street. Later in the evening, a fireworks show will follow the Modesto Nuts home game against the Stockton Ports.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

‘This is what we do best.’ Merced County Fair opens to big crowd after 2-year hiatus

in Entertainment/Fun

The smiles, screams, laughs and the smell of fair food was back as the Merced County Fair opened it’s gates for the first time since 2019 on Wednesday evening.

After being dark for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fair officials are expecting big crowds during the fair’s five-day run from Wednesday through Sunday..

“We are so excited to be back after two years,” said Merced County Fair CEO Teresa Burrola. “This is what we do best, which is get a fair up and running. Having been dark (for two years) it’s a great reward.”

Continue Reading on Merced Sun-Star

Could California’s county fairs move to later in the year? ‘It’d be a tough call to do’

in People

STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — After all the slings and arrows of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic, the idea of throwing the biggest and safest party of 2021 is a tantalizing idea for some organizers. With vaccinations ongoing and a possible end to the pandemic in sight, some say having that safe party later in the year could still be on the table.

“It would be absolutely amazing,” said Matt Cranford, CEO of the Stanislaus County Fair. “The lowest point of my entire career was having to cancel the Stanislaus County Fair last year. That was my lowest point bar none professionally, so to come back a year later and just pull off something, do something phenomenally great, for the community… would be huge.”

That being said, it’s not that easy. There’s a lot of parts to a county fair. Usually, the Stanislaus County Fair has half their entertainment lined up.

“This year, it’s been different - just trying to get commitments has been a little tougher. On the entertainment, a lot of the entertainers want guaranteed contracts,” Cranford said. “How are you going to step out and do a guaranteed contract for $30,000, $40,000 (or) $80,000 for an artist not knowing if you can do a fair or not?”

Continue Reading on ABC 10

2021 Santa Barbara County Fair uncertain, but virtual livestock auction will proceed

in People

When Nipomo FFA chapter member and sheep breeder Emily Ward learned that the 2020 Santa Barbara County Fair was canceled due to COVID-19, she opted not to participate in the virtual auction that was held in June, but she plans to participate in a second one slated for this summer. 

It's still too early to determine if the 2021 County Fair, slated for July 14 to July 18, will happen, but a virtual auction already is in the works, according to Kevin Merrill, who sits on the fair's board of directors. 

"We're just putting it out there now, trying to get an idea of how many kids will participate," Merrill said. "We want to make sure that the kids who have an animal participate and there's some way of being able to sell those." 

Each year, local FFA and 4-H youths have the opportunity to sell livestock during a three-day event at the annual fair. FFA and 4-H members typically work to arrange potential buyers and processing well before the auction. On average, about 2,000 animals are sold during the auction. 

Continue Reading on Lompoc Record

Bill would help out county fairs

in Fun

Following the cancellation of fairs throughout the state this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rep. Josh Harder is hoping a new bill he introduced this week will help alleviate some of their economic strain and keep them afloat until next year.

During a virtual round table discussion held via Zoom on Thursday, Harder announced the Protecting Fairs During Coronavirus Act — a legislative effort that would create an emergency grant program to help offset the massive revenue losses experienced by fairs this year. Californians throughout the state generate approximately $3.5 billion in economic impact each year by attending the fair.

Locally, the Stanislaus County Fair boasted an attendance of over 260,000 in 2019. After announcing in April that the annual event in Turlock would be canceled, however, the fair has issued layoff notices to most of its employees and is in danger of operating at a deficit by October if no action is taken.

Continue Reading on Ceres Courier

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