Merced County Times Newspaper
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County Fair Draws Big Crowds!

Livestock auctions, sales bring record-breaking $1,561,780.50




The Merced County Fair’s Board of Directors, management and staff want to thank the community for coming out to support this year’s Fair presented by Valley Children’s Healthcare, from June 5 to June 9.

While fair management is still auditing final attendance numbers, big crowds of smiling fairgoers showed up to enjoy five days of dynamic attractions, sensational shows, delicious food, community exhibits, carnival rides and farm animals.

“We are blessed with a community that loves and supports its Fair – regardless of the temperatures outside,” said Teresa Burrola, the fair’s CEO. “Family and friends showed up to enjoy all that the Merced County Fair offers from live music and grandstand shows to exhibits, carnival rides, food and more! We are grateful to bring this tradition to the community year after year – and enjoy seeing each smiling face that passes through our gates.”

Among this year’s highlights:
  • As part of the fair’s “Feed Our Community” food drive benefitting the Merced County Food Bank, a total of 3,789 pounds of food was collected to help fight hunger in Merced County.
  • The community was able to enjoy free rides to the fairgrounds from the Downtown Transpo Center and North Transit Hub thanks to a partnership with The Bus; a total of 439 passengers took advantage of this service.
  • In the Arts Pavilion, there was a new Barnyard Mardi Gras Mask Making area, which was free for Fairgoers. Plus, given the warm temperatures, the new Blue Devils Tailgate Party Zone made possible by Merced Community College provided a cool place to hang out with misters, fans and of course, cornhole.
  • For the third year in a row, the Fair partnered with Valley Children’s Healthcare, the Merced County Library and First 5 Merced County on the Early Childhood Literacy Partnership whose mission is to empower children to read, as well as foster a love for reading. As part of this partnership, the Merced County Fair hosted the Library Bookmobile on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, where 1,500 free books donated by Valley Children’s Healthcare were handed out to young Fairgoers. New this year, on Saturday, June 8 there was a special “Author Story Time” where Fairgoers could listen to local authors read their books.
  • The new Makers Marketplace, located across from the Grandstand, provided a place where Fairgoers could shop local supporting small businesses. This storefront-like marketplace featured 21 vendors from throughout the Central Valley selling everything from jewelry, plants, clothing, candles, food and more.
  • As always, livestock draws in the crowds and big support from the community, which is evident in this year’s record-breaking livestock numbers. The Small Animal Auction on Friday, June 7 in the Les McCabe Arena saw the sale of 148 animals generating $44,980 in sales. Also on Friday was the Dairy Replacement Heifer Sale in the Les McCabe Arena, which generated $344,400 from heifers sold. Everything culminated on Saturday, June 8, with the Jr.  Livestock Auction in the Hilmar Cheese Barn, which was a big success generating $1,172,400.50 in sales from 613 animals exhibited and sold by 4-H, FFA and Independent Exhibitors, with add-ons still coming in. In total the 2024 Merced County Fair Livestock Auctions and Sales brought in a record-breaking $1,561,780.50. The Merced County Fair Board of Directors served 650 dinners for the Jr. Livestock Auction buyers and their families in the Central Valley Concrete & Central Valley Trucking picnic area to show the Fair’s appreciation for the buyers’ continued support of the Fair’s livestock program and the hardworking exhibitors.

“We are reflecting back on what a great Fair we had this year,” Burrola said. “Not only are we proud of the entertainment the Fair brings to our community, but also its financial impact with jobs and revenue for local businesses, which is estimated to be $23 million each year. We look forward to serving the community year-round and welcoming everyone back in 2025 to kick-off the summer with us.”

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