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Madera kicks off Central Valley fair season (VIDEO)

With the Big Fresno Fair, Tulare County Fair, Caruthers District Fair, Madera District Fair and others in the county, the Central Valley enjoys a plentiful and wide variety of fall festivities to begin the fair season in Fresno County.

Kicking off the season, the Madera District Fair annually attended by 53,000 people, featured local exhibits, carnival rides and over 20 food booths, Sept. 6-9. With everything from concerts to a scale model of the old Madera Flume, this year promotes many new attractions and exhibits. The Madera Fair was held on the Madera Fairgrounds, right off of Highway 99.

Many venders and shop owners attended the fair for the first time this year, while others have faithfully attended for many years.

One woman [name withheld] who has worked the fair for nine years has a small slurpee stand to the side of the main entrance. She starts every August by helping to plan the setup of her stand and then sells her slurpees until the fair ends.

“It’s kind of cool,” she said. “Being able to see kids coming back year after year, and being able to watch them grow up is a neat experience. They are always asking me for my job.”

Another man (name withheld) who runs a stand that sells small cartoon toys is working for his first time at the Madera Fair.

“I’ve been working here for about ten months now,” he said. “I used to work in Sacramento, but business is better here.”

Many people also work at the Madera Fair for years, such as Bill Moss. Moss, who keeps the electrical systems for the entertainment working, has worked the grounds for 25 years.

“I like the Madera Fair because it’s small,” Moss said. “In a small community you run into a lot of people that you know and its kinda neat being able to fix things. We’ve had times where the whole power went out right before a concert and I was able to fix it. It makes me feel like a hero.”

The Madera Fair featured a model of the Madera Flume, a slide used by loggers to transport logs from Sugar Pine to the Madera railroad. Originally it stretched over 50 miles and dropped over 4,000 feet in elevation, but was torn down during the Great Depression.

This year, the theme and slogan of the Madera Fair was “Party Down in Lumber Town,” an idea coming from a small old lumber mill in Madera. The flume model was housed inside of “Lumber Town” a replica of the mill. Fair officials plan to add a piece of Madera’s history to “Lumber Town” every year for future fairs.

A concert was hosted every night from each of the four artists performing: Tower of Power, a soul group for over 44 years; STYX, an American rock band that has played since the early 1970s; American country singer since 1969, Rodney Atkins and Lupillo Rivera, a Hispanic singer who began his career in 1990.

The fairgrounds hosts more events than just the Madera District Fair. People go to the fairgrounds to attend events at the Madera District NASCAR Speedway and to check out the shops at the Madera
Flea market
.

Although the Madera District Fair is ended until next year, as is the Tulare County Fair, Sept. 12-16, there are still other local fairs to visit this season.

The Big Fresno Fair, Oct. 3-14, features a large variety of educational programs, a plethora of fair food, opportunities to compete in many areas of skill and concerts from well-known and loved artists such as Toby Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Loggins and Foreigner.

Many school groups in the area take a field trip to the Fresno Fair every year. FC art teacher Sharon Scharf will be taking a group of her art students out to the fair to compete in the annual chalk-drawing contest. The Big Fresno Fair will also feature FC’s marching band in the Second Annual Big Band Review.

The theme for this year’s Caruthers District Fair is “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams,” Sept. 26-29. This fair is California’s largest free gate fair. FC’s marching band will once again march in the Caruthers Fair Parade, Oct. 3.

With two fairs down, and still a few to go, the Central Valley looks forward to an exciting remainder of the annual fair season with food, rides, games, concerts along other forms of entertainment, educational exhibits and competitions.

For more information on the Madera Fair, visit their website.


For more features, read the Sept. 14 article FC promotes new connections, fellowship (VIDEO).

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