County Fair fans celebrate season with Pre-Party fundraiser


Some 400 Merced County Fair supporters gathered inside Yosemite Hall at the fairgrounds on Feb. 23 to celebrate the upcoming fair season, and support the cause to bring quality entertainment and social encounters to the community, as well as highlight agriculture and the young students who are carrying on this valley’s farming traditions. 

Friends of the Fair: Linton and Kathleen Wollen along with Brian McCabe.

“This has become quite the must-attend event that helps support our Fair,” said Luis Lara, the new president of the Merced County Fair Board. “What a way to kick off this year’s Fair run and launch this year’s theme – ‘A Barn Yard Mardi Gras.’

“I don’t have to tell you all how special the community we’ve created here is. A collection of passionate community leaders who truly value the important role our Fair plays in Merced County – especially for our youth from the Arts Pavilion to our bustling Livestock barns that showcase the hard work of our youth. As a father to a 4-H/FFA exhibitor that shows swine, I can tell you firsthand the hard work that goes into these animal projects and how important the Fair experience is to these kids.  

Fair munchies were on hand, including corn dogs!

“But the Fair is important to not only our kids but our entire community. From the carnival rides and grandstand shows to the exhibit buildings, attractions and Fair food, it all draws our community together to enjoy an affordable family-friendly event. There’s nothing better than seeing so many people from our community come together.” 

Fair supporters dined on fine food provided by Pedrozo Catering, enjoyed a fun auction for a great cause, and listened to some music by entertainer Scott Rich. The wise among them also scooped up Preferred Parking Passes that allow access to the on-grounds parking Lot A on the corner of G and Childs, all five days of the Merced County Fair in June. Beginning on April 2 at 8 a.m., Preferred Parking Passes will be available for purchase to everyone at the Fair Administration Office. Passes will be limited to one per household and a person from that household must be the individual purchasing the pass in person at the Fair Administration Office. 


• 2024 Merced County Fair — The 2024 Merced County Fair will kick off the summer, June 5-9. Be sure to check the website (, entertainment announcements and the Competitive Exhibits books will be posted soon. 


Fair announces 2024 concert line-up 

The Merced County Fair has unveiled its line-up for the 2024 FREE Outdoor Theatre Concert Series presented by Coors Light. The 2024 Merced County Fair presented by Valley Children’s Healthcare will take place June 5-9. Tickets for the Fair will go on sale May 1 

“We’re so excited about this year’s concert line-up and are looking forward to five great nights of free concert entertainment, plus all else the Fair has to offer,” said Teresa Burrola, CEO Merced County Fair. “Expect more entertainment announcements in the months to come, including how you can save on your tickets to the Fair!” 

• June 5 — George Strait Tribute

Jaws will drop as Derek Spence takes the stage even before he sings a single note. The voice, the look, the stage mannerisms and the band have all helped Derek Spence become the top “George Strait Tribute Show” in America. Don’t miss live performances of George Strait’s biggest hits like “Check Yes or No,” Amarillo By Morning,” Carrying Your Love with Me”, “Write This Down” and so many others! 

• June 6 — Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads

‘A Celebration of Jimmy Buffet’s Music’ — The Parrotheads creates the look, feel and sound of being at a Jimmy Buffett concert. The band’s popularity across the fair and festival circuit has billed the band as being the No.1 Jimmy Buffett tribute band. 

• June 7 — Tyler Farr 

The Country-rocker, with three No.1 songs to his credit: “Redneck Crazy,” “Whiskey in My Water,” and “A Guy Walks Into a Bar”, broke onto the scene with the 2013 release of his debut album, Redneck Crazy. Named as one of the top male vocalists in Country music today, Tyler has toured with big-name stars like Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Combs, Brantley Gilbert and Lee Brice.

• June 8 — The Whispers 

Celebrating over 55 years in the industry as one of the premier soul groups, The Whispers’ musical success can be attributed to an ingenious balance of soul, jazz, pop, disco and blues that delight of millions of fans. The Whispers have had 33 Top 10 hits and 20 Billboard charted albums and were one of the first groups to be signed to Soul Train Records, but the band earned most of their greatest hits with Solar Records. As of recent, The Whispers re- released a few of their most popular singles such as “And the Beat Goes On,” “Rock Steady,” “Olivia (Lost and Turned Out),” and Maybe the Fire Isn’t Out” to name a few. 

• June 9 — La Original Banda El Limón 

La Original Banda El Limón has won three Latin Grammys, two Premios Texas, an ASCAP Award, BMI Award, Billboard Award for Excellence in Regional Mexican Music and others. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this legendary Sinoloan band perform some of their biggest hits at the Fair like “Derecho de Antigüedad,” “El Mejor Perfume,” Juan Martha” and more! 

Concerts start at 8:30 p.m. and are free with your paid Fair admission. Be sure to get your admission in advance for $10, price at the gate is $15. Children 12 and under are free. Be sure to check the website for ways to save before you head to the 2024 Merced County Fair: 



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