By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
County Fair In Full Swing
Those white-hocked Scottish horses called the Budweiser Clydesdales, bright-hued parrots, monkeys and iguanas housed in a simulated rain forest, a swirl on several midway rides, and a taste of snacks ranging from squid to fish and chips were all on tap for Thursday's media visit to the Stanislaus County Fair.

Opened to the public Friday in Turlock, the fair is in the midst of a 10-day run through July 25 opening at 5 p.m. weekdays and noon on the weekend. Admission and unlimited carnival ride wristbands can be bought at the gate from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. E-tickets are available at www.stancofair,com so visitors can print their own tickets from their computer and have the bar code scanned at the gates.

Adult admission costs $12, children of ages six through 12 are $3 and children of five and under free.

The Clydesdales, first introduced to the Turlock fair in 2008, will be available for viewing every day and take part in a parade and other events pulling a red, white and gold painted beer wagon.

The breed began early in the 19th century along the River Clyde in Scotland. Local farmers needed strong horses for hauling, plowing and carting farm equipment and workers. So they imported six Great Flemish Horses from Holland to start a breed of horse more powerful than any before.

The average Clydesdale stands 18 hands high (about six feet) at the shoulder when they fully mature and weigh about 2,000 pounds.

The highly popular Rainforest Adventure, sponsored by Sky Trek Aviation, will again be drawing the crowds for a close up look at kinkajous, chameleons, tree-climbing porcupines, toucans, anacondas, snapping turtles, geckos and more.

The rain forest includes plant life growing from the ground to the canopy. There will be naturalists and interpreters on hand to explain how each layer of vegetation contributes to the environment and what foods each animal consumes.

Another special attraction sponsored by the Turlock Chamber of Commerce is the 4-H Farmyard Experience, where children can dig for potatoes and grind wheat into flour, learn how much water it takes to make a hamburger, see how wool is spun and pet llamas and alpacas. On the way out they can stop by the petting zoo to see chickens, rabbits, pigs, piglets, baby goats and calves.

Flavors of the Valley is this year's theme for the fair. Visitors can review the county's top 10 agricultural products ranging from milk, almonds, chickens, cattle and walnuts among the top five in value to deciduous fruit and nuts, hay, peaches and tomatoes.

Carnival rides include spectaculars like the 90-foot high Super Shot Drop Tower, Cliffhanger and Giant Wheel in addition to the classic Scrambler and Eagle 16 and kids attractions like the Dragon Wagon and Wacky Worm. There is even a ride that Michael Jackson had installed at his Neverland ranch.

Among the entertainment, July 21 will bring quad drags and motorcycle jumpers, the Jack Ingram & Chuck Wicks country band and Ernie Bucio's Latin Band; Thursday offers a CCPRA Rodeo, Boys Like Girls group and Hugo the One Man Band; and Friday has the singer Blake Shelton, Steve Bayner Hypnotist Show and the Quad Cross and Pee Wee Bikes.

For continued entertainment Saturday will offer Teri Clark, Motocross and Threshold and Sunday will have the Los Tucanes Band, Mud Bog and Lawn Mower Racing and another Steve Bayner Hypnotist Show.