Merced

After two-year break, Merced County Fair set for June return

Following a break because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Merced County Fair is back in full force this year. 

The pandemic forced the fair to pause the last two years, but the 131st year of the fair will take place from June 8-12. 

Fairgoers will be able to enjoy classic fair attractions such as livestock exhibits, live music and fair food. 

“We are beyond thrilled for the return of the Merced County Fair after two years of modified operations,” said Teresa Burrola, fair CEO, in a statement. 

“We have greatly missed our community, and we know they have missed our fair. It will be a wonderful reunion to kick-off the summer for our community, complete with all the fair favorites: food, carnival rides, exhibits, concerts, community performances, our beloved tractor parade and so much more.” 

The five-day event typically draws 70,000 people from Merced County and the surrounding area each June. 

One of the main attractions is the concert series, which starts at 8:30 p.m. each day of the fair. 

Coffey Anderson will kick things off on June 8, followed by Queen Nation, Sheila E., Kalimba – The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire Experience and Banda Machos each day onward. 

All concerts are free for fairgoers with paid fair admission. 

Another attraction the Merced County Fair puts on are the Grandstand shows, which begin at 7 p.m. and cost $5 for admission – except for the first night, which is free. 

The free first event will be the Merced Speedway Auto Racing on June 8. 

The rest of the week is followed up with Destruction Derby, Valley Tractor Pullers’ Tractor Pull, Humpz and Hornz “Bad to the Bone” 2022 Bull Riding Tour and Gran Jaripeo, which includes bull riding, dancing horses and Banda music. 

Other events at the fair include the Pee Wee Stampede, the Discovering Science exhibit and the petting zoo.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.