Saturday, September 23, 2023

Free Events and Affordable Wristbands at This Year’s Redwood Empire Fair

The following is a press release issued by the Redwood Empire Fair:

[Picture from the Redwood Empire Fair Facebook page]

The return of the Redwood Empire Fair is going to be a celebration for everyone, including families who are looking for entertainment on a budget. The Fair runs from Thursday, August 4th to Sunday, August 7th

Every year, the fair offers attendees an opportunity to save $5 on carnival wristbands. The unlimited one-day-use wristbands may be used any day of the weekend. The discounted wristbands are $30 each and are available at Mendo Mill Ukiah, Ukiah Taco Bell, Raley’s, Super Chavez Market, Creative Workshop and JD Redhouse in Willits. Wristbands must be purchased by 2:00 pm on Thursday, August 4th, prior to the opening of the Fair.

Start out the weekend with free admission for kids and seniors on the Fair’s opening day, Thursday, August 4th at 3:00 PM. Admission is free until 6:00 pm for kids aged 6-12 and seniors 65 and older. Children under five are always admitted free of charge. Admission to the fair provides an all-inclusive experience, with music, Speedway activities and entertainment included in the admission price.

Each day, contests take place on the Willow Tree Stage at 5:00 pm. On Thursday, assure your kids that watermelon seeds don’t grow in your stomach, when folks can compete in the Watermelon Eating Contest. Save the corn dogs for dinner and enter the Pie Eating Contest on Friday at 4:30 PM. Speaking of corn dogs, how many can you eat? Saturday is the corn dog eating contest at 5:00 PM. For those professional eaters who still have a few calories to burn, check out the hot dog eating contest at 5:00 PM on Sunday.

For the aspiring Cupcake Wars fan in the family, Fair-themed cupcake decorating will take place from noon to 3:00 on Saturday, and Fair-themed cookie decorating can be enjoyed from noon to 3:00 on Sunday.

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Once again, Pardini Appliance is sponsoring the traditional Diaper Dash on Saturday, August 6th at 2:30, located on the Willow Tree Stage. The winning dasher’s family will receive a washing machine. 

One of the most memorable experiences of the fair is viewing the competition at the animal show rings. The swine, sheep, beef and small animal buildings also provide many families with a first-time, up-close-and-personal animal experience. The 4-H members and Future Farmers are incredible Ag ambassadors, and part of their training is to help educate children and adults on how to raise animals and prepare for the showmanship stage. 

Get ready to “Walk on the Wild Side” once again, when the Oregon-based non-profit will stage not one but two interactive experiences—the first, sharing a variety of endangered and rescued wild animals, who make their forever home in their rural wildlife sanctuary, where some have the opportunity to educate and amaze the public by being part of their traveling exhibit. Their second experience, a Dinosaur Discovery, speaks for itself, and will have future paleontologists “digging” the information and exhibits. The exhibits will be open from 3:00 to 10:00 Thursday and Friday, from noon to 10:00 on Saturday and noon to 9:00 on Sunday.

It isn’t the Fair without Jeremy the Juggler. He will be found all weekend bringing his remarkable feats to the fairgrounds. Jeremy is a celebrated bilingual juggler, unicyclist, hand-whistler, beat-boxer and origami maker, who performs at California-based fairs and industry events like corporate heavies Motorola, Industrial Light and Magic, Pixar and Red Bull. 

This year for the first time, the Fair welcomes Violin on Fire to the Fairgrounds. Master violinist Patrick Contreras is a Fresno-based virtuoso violinist who has tens of thousands of followers and is known for his masterful interpretations of popular music including hip-hop, Latin music and even renditions of hard rock songs by Santana and System of a Down. Don’t miss his two daily performances at 5:30 and 7:30 Thursday through Saturday, and 5:30 and 8:00 on Sunday. 

For years, the Ukiah Idol competition has continued to bring the excitement of performing in front of an audience to local folks who have the will, talent and chops to make it to the finals. Bring the kids to the Willow Tree Stage and enjoy the “Little Idol and Junior Idol” finals on Friday, August 5th at 5:00 pm. The Grand Finals take place at 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 7th

Don’t’ forget to take a break from the noise and heat and enjoy the exhibits in the Fine Arts Building, Junior Building, Flower Building and Home Arts Building. Cash prizes are awarded to adults and children who will be emulating this year’s Fair theme: “Celebrating 86 Years of Cows and Quilts.” Expect some amazing quilt entries, along with everything from photography, fine art, collections, cakes and fruits of this year’s harvest.

Some fairgoers come exclusively for the Speedway entertainment, and how can you blame them? This year, there will be four nights of racing, starting every night at 6:00. 

Ukiah’s beloved DJ Ken Steely will be ready for you to belt out your karaoke favorites on Thursday 6:00 and 9:00 PM. Get ready to rock with Fake News at 6:00 and 9:00 pm on Friday, dance to Warehouse 21 at 6:00 and 9:00 pm on Saturday, and on Sunday, Banda Pacifica will close out the Fair with a 5:00 show.

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Along with free admission to kids ages 6-12 on Thursday only, seniors 65 and older are also admitted free until 6:00 pm on opening day. Children under 5 are always admitted free. Speedway shows are always included with fair admission. The Fair opens at 3:00 on Thursday and Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. For more information phone (707) 462-3884, visit the Redwood Empire Fair’s Facebook page or https://www.redwoodempirefair.com/summer-fair.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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