MARIPOSA – Get the family ready for a swell long weekend, as the Mariposa County Fair is in town for Labor Day, starting Friday, Aug. 29 and running through Monday, Sept. 1 at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.
This 76th edition of the fair, billed as “Boots, Buckles and Barrels of Fun,” will include carnival rides, food and drinks, livestock shows, great entertainment, displays, awards, destruction derby, authentic wild west rodeo action and more.
The big event affords some of the best good times the area has to offer, and you have four days to enjoy it.
“Since 1939 the Mariposa County Fair has been providing family fun to the people of Mariposa and other surrounding communities, with agricultural events, displays, demonstrations, entertainment, a carnival, a midway and more,” say organizers, providing “old-fashioned fun for the young and young-at-heart.”
Admission to the fair is $10 per person for ages 12 and up, with a season pass for $30. Children age 11 and under pay $5 per person per day, or $12 for the season pass. Children age 11 and under, as well as seniors age 65 and over, get in for free on Monday, Sept. 1. Carnival tickets are sold seperately. Anyone who buys a ticket on Friday, Aug. 29 will receive a voucher for free admission to the “Big Fresno Fair,” in October.
Our Mariposa County Fair kicks off on Friday when the Grounds and buildings open at noon with a “People’s Choice” judging of exhibits sponsored by Yosemite Bank. Afternoon activities include a Think Safety Magic Show on the Amigo Stage, and at 4 p.m. the California Carnival opens. Also at 4 p.m. and on until 7 p.m. is Charley’s Country band in the Beergarden.
Strolling acts performing throughout the afternoon include Sadie the Balloon Lady and the Walking Puppet Stage. Other events on Friday feature a card magic show, and swine judging in the Show Ring, with Dr. Goodjohn’s Magical Medicine Show on the Amigo Stage at 7 p.m.
Dachsund races, stick horse races, ultimate cowboy and cowgirl contests, barnyard goat scramble and wheelbarrow race for couples will all take place in the Goldbowl.
From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. fair-goers can dance to DJ Mark Carpenter. Buildings close at 10 p.m. and Grounds close at 1 a.m.
Tickets are also being sold for a demolition derby on Saturday, Aug. 30, and a CCPRA Rodeo on Sunday, Aug. 31. The ticket prices for these events are sold seperately for $10 – $12 and may be sold out. All seats are numbered.
On Saturday, Aug. 30, Grounds open at 8 a.m. with a Stock Horse Show to include ranch cutting, open reining, non-pro reining, and more, all free with admission in the Goldbowl.
Judging starts at 9 a.m. for Junior Beef, Open Beef, Junior Poultry, Junior Goats, Junior Sheep and Open Sheep. Buildings open at 10 a.m., and the schedule continues with People’s Choice judging.
The Parade starts in town at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and afterwards the strolling acts continue, along with some magic and the return of the Carnival, which opens at noon. Later in the day is Ranch Sorting, blacksmith shop demonstrations, and the Mariposa Country Band in the Beergarden at 3 p.m., followed by classic rock band The Fog at the Amigo Stage at 4 p.m., and Dr. Goodjohn’s Magical Medicine Show back at 5:30 p.m.
Square and Line Dancing will take place on the Amigo Dance Slab at 6 p.m. and the Destruction Derby goes down in the Goldbowl at 7 p.m. The Destruction Derby is sponsored by Sierra Telephone and gates open at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
DJ Brian takes over on the green in the Fiske Area at 9 p.m. and the Steel Breeze Band takes the Amigo Stage at 9 p.m., as well. Again, buildings close at 10 p.m. and Grounds close at 1 a.m.
Sunday, Aug. 31 brings the Amigo de Oro Race at 7:30 a.m.: that’s a 5/10 mile race that begins and ends at the Fairgrounds.
Grounds open officially at 8 a.m. and Local Team Roping starts the day. Judging for dairy and boar goats is at 9 a.m., followed by Cowboy Church at 10 a.m., a nondenominational service, on the Amigo Dance Slab. The day continues with the strolling acts, magic shows, kids dummy roping, and the California Carnival opening at 12 p.m.
Local saddle roping and Champion of Champions are announced on Sunday, followed by a Karaoke Contest at 1:30 p.m. Those in attendance can greet their local friendly firefighter, as Fire Services will be on-hand from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., with an engine, and staff from CDF, USFS and Mariposa Volunteer Fire Companies.
Foothill Express plays in the Beergarden starting at 2 p.m. and there’s a Diaper Derby at 3 p.m., when a livestock auction also takes place. Do not confuse the two. Watch for more magic, a tricycle race, and Dr. Goodjohn’s Medicine Show. Be on the lookout for KUBB Country 96.3 Broadcasting from 6 – 8 p.m. and the CCPRA Rodeo action at 8 p.m.
Enjoy rodeo staples like bull riding, calf roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling and more old fashioned western action. This year’s Grand Marshall is longtime Mariposa County Fair supporter Elnora George. After the action, rodeo-goers can take their rodeo ticket down to the fairgrounds for a free carnival ride.
At 9 p.m. on Sunday, the Jackson Michelson Band goes on stage, buildings close at 10 p.m. and the Grounds close at 1 a.m.
For the last day of the Mariposa County Fair, Monday, Sept. 1, the Grounds open at 8 a.m. followed by a calf branding contest, a senior citizens program, and the Western Fairs Blue Ribbon Award presentation to Tom Phillips at 3 p.m., before the junior livestock auction.
K.A. Country will be at the Beergarden at noon, and the Yosemite Dixieland Jazz Band will perform at 1 p.m., on the Amigo Stage.
Watch out for watermelon spitting and its contestants at 3:30, and an awards assembly at 3 p.m. for the 4-H, FFA and Senior Clean Barn Awards.
The evening closes with magic, more Medicine and a thank-you-very-much and goodnight at 6 p.m., when the grounds and Carnival close and everyone looks forward to next year.
The cost for parking is $5 per entry to the fair or a flat $30 season pass, which are limited in number and available at the Fairgrounds Office. Season Passes, as well as booklets of Carnival tickets can be purchased in advance from the Fairgrounds Office.
For more information visit the Mariposa County Fair online.