Dust off those Wranglers and prepare for a weekend of non-stop entertainment, food and fun at the 2018 Redwood Empire Fair.
This year’s theme, “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams” celebrates everything great about community- a thriving youth agricultural program, talented artists, musicians, bakers and gardeners and a place for family and friends to enjoy thrilling rides on the Midway. Delicious fair foods, an exhibit hall filled with all manner of great vendors and services and a classic carnival experience offer fun and memories for young and old.
The Fair runs from August 2nd to August 5th, and promises to be a jam-packed weekend filled with food, fun and entertainment.
This will be the second year that the midway is being operated by the California Carnival Company. According to Kevin Tate, who with his wife Jane are the co-officers of the company, the focus of California Carnival Company is their attention to detail.
“Since its inception in 1981, it has been our goal to provide local communities with not just the excitement that naturally comes when the carnival arrives in town, but to provide a total entertainment venue focused on family and community,” says Tate.
The carnival will feature a full complement of rides, rated from “kiddie” to “spectacular,” and the midway will offer a wide range of games of skill.
Start your weekend by honoring community members who are displaying their wares and talents in the Junior Building, the Flower Building and the Home Arts Buildings, where crafters, bakers, collectors, photographers, artists and gardeners show off their best offerings creative efforts while competing for prizes.
The Redwood Empire Fair offers Future Farmers and 4-H members one of the most lucrative animal programs in the State. Bring the kids and take some time to meet young people who come from all over the county and beyond to show and sell their animals and educate the public about local agriculture. Market Sheep, Swine Showing and Market Beef Showmanship and Breeding are scheduled for Thursday. Swine Showmanship, the Goat Primary Exhibit, Pygmy Goat Show and the Large and Small Animal Round Robin Showmanship events take place on Friday. For Auction buyers, the Saturday Livestock Buyer’s Breakfast will take place at 8:00 am. The breakfast is followed by the Junior Livestock Auction at 10:00. On Sunday, the Livestock Awards Ceremony takes place at 10:00.
The Fair is known far and wide for the hair-raising motorsports taking place every night at the Speedway. Starting at 6:30 on Thursday, enjoy motorcycles, side-by-sides and ATV’s. If you’ve never seen Mudd Boggs, be sure to bring the kids for ‘down and dirty” fun on Friday night at 6:30. Saturday’s motosports begin at 6:00, with Truck and Tractor Pulls The motorized events conclude at 6:00 on Sunday evening with the wildly entertaining Boat Races, Junior Mudd Boggs and Jalopies. This is the first year that youth ages 12-17 will be competing in Junior Mudd Bogg championships.
There is nothing like enjoying delicious, decadent fair food under the stars while listening to some of the finest music in the region. The Back Porch Project opens up the weekend entertainment on Thursday evening at 6:00 and 9:00. Enjoy new songs and classic favorites from II Big on Friday night, with two shows at 6:00 and 9:00. Get down with the Funky Dozen on Saturday evening starting at 7:00 pm and 9:00. Sunday’s entertainment brings three amazing Latino groups to the Willow Tree Stage. Enjoy Creativos de Tierra Caliente, Grupo La Elegancia and Banda Pacifica, beginning at 5:00 pm.
There will be plenty of brand-new free activities and entertainment throughout the weekend, with a focus on science, education and history. The Innovation Station brings hand-on exhibits and interactive activities using electricity, lighting and art. The Circus Imagination Tent gives kids an opportunity to become part of the circus, dressing up in costumes and creating an unforgettable, imaginative experience. Another new attraction, the 1880’s Variety Show and Pioneer Experience is a combination of “new and old-fashioned family fun” that offers kids opportunities to go back in time, with music and interactive activities including gardening in the “homestead,” panning for gold and participating in an old-fashioned variety show.
The fair always leaves the best for last. Support local artists on Sunday at 2:00, when the winners of the Ukiah Idol’s Grand Final competition will be announced. “Little and Junior” Idol contestants will compete on Friday at 7:30. This long-standing community tradition, which mirrors the successful television show has created a unique and supportive venue for children, adults, amateur and aspiring professionals, who give their all for prizes and recognition.
Free admission for kids and seniors is available on Thursday until 6:00 pm. The Fair opens at 3:00 on Thursday and Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. Children under 5 are always admitted free. For more information phone (707) 462-3884 or visit the Redwood Empire Fair’s Facebook page or http://www.redwoodempirefair.com/august-fair/.
Photos by Chris Pugh