KING CITY — Salinas Valley Fair is skipping “Back in the Saddle” this week, returning with many of its popular activities after a two-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Finally, we’re ‘back in the saddle’ again,” said Margaret Noroian, president of the Salinas Valley Fair. “We couldn’t have imagined in March 2020 that it would be two years before we could reunite with old friends and like-minded people at the Salinas Valley Fair.”
The 78th Annual Salinas Valley Fair begins Thursday, May 12 and runs through Sunday, May 15 at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds, 625 Division St., King City. Doors open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with the fair closing at midnight Thursday through Saturday and 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“This year our theme is ‘Back in the Saddle’ and we’re right back with all your favorite activities,” said Lauren Hamilton, Acting CEO of Salinas Valley Fair. “The fair will once again be filled with exhibits like 4-H and FFA cattle, cookies, photos and much more.”
This year’s exhibition program has expanded to include digital entries, such as FFA speeches and creeds, as well as opening and closing ceremonies. Visitors can stop at any of the show buildings or barns to view exhibitors’ submissions for local arts, crafts, baking, photos, flowers and other contests.
Alongside all the exhibits, there will be a full weekend of family activities and live entertainment. Special admission days include Children’s Day on Thursday, Senior Citizen’s Day on Friday, and Armed Forces Day on Saturday.
Once again the carnival is back with all its thrilling rides and fun games, plus free entertainment which includes The Bird Man, Circus Imagination, petting zoo, music, balloons, violins, hypnotist, wrestling, rodeo and motorsports – to name a few. The Stampede Arena will also feature new shows every day, as well as a children’s entertainment area.
Traditional fairground foods, such as corn dogs, cotton candy, funnel cakes and giant cinnamon rolls, are also making a comeback alongside new food vendors.
“There are a lot of new food vendors on the lot, so be sure to check them all out,” Hamilton said.
On the opening night of the Fair, Thursday, the grand tasting of the Monterey International Wine Competition will take place inside the Orradre Building. More than 400 guests are expected to taste the award-winning wines from the 2022 competition.
“We are truly grateful for all of our exhibitors, sponsors and supporters and look forward to seeing you at this year’s Salinas Valley Fair,” said Hamilton.
This year, the Salinas Valley Fair Junior Cattle Auction will once again take place live on Saturday, May 14 starting at 8 a.m.
Due to the reduced number of animals in the 2022 auction, the auction committee has decided to make some adjustments to the order of species. Goats and beef will run before the lunch break to “keep this year’s auction flowing and efficient”.
“We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, but hopefully this will allow more time in the day to take advantage of additional offerings from the Salinas Valley Fair,” the auction committee said.
Successful bidders will donate to local 4-H and FFA exhibitors to help offset costs associated with raising livestock, which includes goats, pigs, sheep and steers. Custom harvesting is again an option with this year’s sale, and add-ons will be open until May 23.
The Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation has named Wesley Hill, a Salinas High School senior, as the recipient of the 2022 Heritage Foundation Scholarship.
“He is an outstanding recipient of the scholarship, and we are very proud that he is raising the heritage animal this year,” said Maureen Harris, SVF Heritage Scholarship Chair.
As the scholarship recipient, Hill receives a $2,500 scholarship along with a commemorative jacket and belt buckle, in addition to being reimbursed for all expenses associated with raising her market for the fair. This year.
All proceeds from the sale of his animal will benefit the Heritage Foundation and ongoing projects at the Salinas Valley Fair.
Hill, who is president of the Salinas High School FFA Chapter, is a member of San Benancio 4-H and serves on the Monterey County 4-H Board. He plans to attend Texas Christian University in the fall to study finance.
More information about the SVF Heritage Foundation and its scholarship will be available at the fair in the Heritage Room and Junior Breeding Office.
In partnership with the Salinas Valley Fair, Sol Treasures in King City launched a project this year to help customers get even more out of their fair experience.
Inspired by this year’s “Back in the Saddle” theme, the art center has designed and created 12 wooden horses that participating groups or individuals can paint with original designs and details. Finished horses will be displayed and placed all around the fair grounds for the duration of the fair, May 12-15.
When visitors enter the fair, they will receive a map and a ballot to help them find where all the horses have been penned. After viewing the artwork, they can vote for their favorite painted horse. Prizes will be awarded to the favourites.
Those who have worked on the horses are: the Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum (Jane Allen, Nicole Villegas and interns Billie Jean Jackson, Elsy Hernandez-Montoya and Penelope Riley); Casey Redtail Ranch (Sharon Casey); Green’s Accounting (Marcia Green); Barbara Plasket; Sun Street Centers (Darlene Hyland); John and Karen Jernigan and Soni Clark; Sol Treasures (Sonia Chapa and Brenda Settrini-Saglio); Valley Heritage Quilt Guild (Barbara Pekema); King City in Bloom (Andy Maness); Farmers Insurance (Rob Cullen and Vianka Ortega); Buttgereit, Pettit and Davis Insurance (Janet Buttgereit and Vianka Ortega); and the La Cocina outdoor market (Tina Lopez and Katie Mackin).
“Make sure you allow time to ‘saddle up’ and ‘gallop’ to the Salinas Valley Fair so you can find all the painted horses trotting around the fairgrounds,” said attendee Barbara Pekema. to the project. “Vote for your favorite and wait to see which painted horse leads the herd.”
For more information on the 78th Annual Salinas Valley Fair, go to salinasvalleyfair.com or call the fair office at 831-385-3243.