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July 10, 2014

Stanislaus County Fair set to open with flurry of fun

When the gates swing open at 5 p.m. for the Stanislaus County Fair, attendees will get to choose from a Wynonna concert, tractor pulls, a gold mine exhibit and a livestock sale. That’s a lot of activity, so they’ll probably want to grab a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped pickle for sustenance. And, of course, wash it down with a beer float.

When the gates swing open at 5 p.m. Friday for the Stanislaus County Fair, attendees will get to choose from checking out a Wynonna concert, tractor pulls, a gold mine exhibit and a livestock sale. That’s a lot of activity, so they’ll probably want to grab a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped pickle for sustenance. And, of course, wash it down with a beer float.

Those are among the offerings for the 103rd fair, which will include several shows and exhibits each day.

New this year is the miners display in the 4-H Farmyard Experience. Children can practice mining for “gold” – actually, rocks painted gold by fair volunteers. In addition to the typical fair fare – corn dogs, linguiça sandwiches and the VFW burger – several new deep-fried delicacies will tempt fairgoers. That includes the pickle, a lobster corn dog and mini doughnuts.

Children who want to pretend to be princes and princesses – and learn some science on the side – can make their way to the Wizards Challenge, which makes its way back to the fair this year.

And for those who want to be nauseated – there’s no pretending about it – the midway includes a ride called the “Freak Out.” The attraction locks riders in, then sends them on a looping swing back and forth over the fairground. On a demonstration ride Thursday, more than one hat and pair of flip-flops was lost on the journey.

As the fair continues over its 10-day span, there will be plenty to attract folks looking for anything from a junior art contest (Tuesday) to a Loverboy concert (Thursday) to the sale of champion hogs, sheep, goats and more livestock (July 19).

Those who want to recharge their phones can make their way to the ReCharge Toyota Lounge. And those who need to recharge their children can use the new “Mommy and Me” center, sponsored by Emanuel Medical Center.

And, of course, there’s the food. The beer floats are being sold by local Rotarians. It’s an idea fair CEO Chris Borovansky said he stole from another event. When he pitched it to the Rotary Club, “They were all for it,” he said. The floats are made with an orange flavor, using Blue Moon beer, or chocolate, using Guinness.

Even those who are paid to be at the fair every day find something new.

“I’ll drive by something and think, ‘Hey, I didn’t see that before,’ ” marketing and communications coordinator Michelle Oliver said.

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