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Madera District Fair draws closer

After a blissful week of mild weather, Madam Summer is back with a vengeance, torturing us with her triple digit temperatures. The Weather Channel extended forecast says it will be over 100 degrees every day next week. Stay hydrated and provide water and shade for your pets. Fall can’t get here soon enough for me.

In less than a month, the Madera District Fair will stage its four-day run Sept. 8-11. Cash prizes and bragging rights will be awarded for a wide variety of exhibits. Categories include cooking, canning, sewing, gardening, photography, floriculture, drawing and painting. Back again this year is the salsa making contest. For the first time, a barbecue rib cook-off will take place.

Individual divisions are open to juniors (18 and younger), seniors (19 and older) and senior citizens (age 62 and older). There is also a category for people with special needs including learning, developmental or physical disabilities and enrolled in programs such as Heartland, CIWP, Star Center and similar group homes or day programs.

The fair extends an invitation to all members of the community with free admittance on designated days to seniors 62 and older and children 12 younger.

The deadline for entries is Tuesday. Entry forms are available on the fair’s website and in the exhibitors’ handbook, which is available at the fair office and at local retailers. Items for judging are to be delivered to the fair office beginning Aug. 27.

It is no secret I am a big fan of the Madera District Fair. I usually go every day. It is the perfect place to meet friends and acquaintances. It provides local service clubs the opportunity to raise money for their community projects by serving food and beverages. The Mexican food fresh cooked by the Pan Am Club and the tri-tip sandwiches for the 20-30 Club are a crowd pleaser every year.

The exhibit halls showcase the talents of our fellow Maderans in new and often surprising mediums. And only at the fair will you see big name musical acts performing in Madera. This year the lineup includes 38 Special, Montgomery Gentry and Brett Michaels. Rock, southern rock and country western music under the stars with festival seating can be enjoyed free with paid fair admission. Reserve seating with reasonably priced tickets available for sale through the Madera fair website or at the office.

Carnival rides, fried food on sticks, frozen bananas, kettle corn, funnel cakes and cinnamon rolls are just the tip of the culinary iceberg of delicacies that are standard fare at the fair.

The buildings on the grounds of Madera fair will be filled with projects created by amateur and professional, artists, photographers, tailors and seamstresses.

Our hometown fair is a safe and clean environment for the entire family. The Safety Zone building provides the opportunity to meet and converse with officers from the Madera Police Department, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, probation, Cal Fire and the Army Corps of Engineers from Hensley Lake.

Developing personal relationships by getting to know our local law enforcement officers can go a long way towards helping kids avoid the lure of gangs and criminal enterprises. Coloring books, stickers and other fun safety materials will be distributed free of charge.

The ground acts roaming throughout the fair this year will include hypnotist Kellie Karl, Something Ridiculous Jugglers, Albert the Amazing, Balloonist, Rocket’s K9 Comet Frisbee Dog Stars, Magician Frank Thurston, Jeremy the Juggler, Circus Imagination, Sadie’s Farmtastic Adventure, Pollywood Bird Show and Turkey, Stampede, Wild Science and Mario’s Dancing Horses (Sunday only).

At the junior livestock show and sale, 4-H and Future Farmers of America members will show and sell the project animals they have spent the last year feeding and tending. Dressed in white pants and shirts, they parade their livestock in front of a crowd of buyers. The mostly docile animals have been trained by the members to perform and stroll around the livestock pavilion.

Advanced discount tickets and all-day ride carnival wrist bands are on sale until Sept. 7 at the fair office. Madera fair will be an event with something fun for the whole family. Mark your calendar and save the date after all “It’s Your Fair!”

Have a great weekend.

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