The Merced County Fair said it's hosting “Friends Helping Friends,” for our community’s special needs kids and adults and some folks from local convalescent homes. Fair officials said they'd put on traditional VIP treatment, including a behind-the-scenes tour, mini-rodeo, dancing and lunch, but the celebration has grown this year (1,000 estimated guests/volunteers) because more special education kids can attend since our fair has moved to June. The event is from 9 a.m. to noon.
The rodeo has moved up a day to Friday! The CCPRA Rodeo is a day earlier this year in the CVC/CVT Grandstand. Pre-rodeo festivities include crowning the 2010 Miss Merced County Fair Rodeo Queen at 6 p.m., followed by the local cowboys’ event, the “rope, mug and run.” At 7 p.m., Grand Marshal Dr. Ed LeTourneau, kicks off the Grand Entry riding his horse, a first for the Merced County Fair Rodeo. LeTourneau is a Rodeo Hall of Famer and Madera County veterinarian. The rodeo follows, featuring world-class cowboys competing in several events.
At 8:30 p.m., Tower of Power returns for the first time since 2001. The 10-member group got its start in the San Francisco Bay Area with a sound that’s hard to categorize, but could be called "Urban Soul Music." Tower's rhythm section and horn-driven sound lays down a groove like no other band. Combine that with an outstanding lead vocalist, and you’ve got one of the most dynamic groups of musicians to ever hit the stage, the fair said in a news release.
TOP’s hits include “What is Hip?” “You’re Still A Young Man,” “So Very Hard To Go,” “Soul Vaccination” and “Don’t Change Horses (In The Middle of the Stream).” Co-founders, Emilio Castillo, on second tenor sax and Stephen “Doc” Kupka, on baritone sax, continue to play with the band. TOP plays 200 dates a year all over the world and their horn section guests on albums for artists including Elton John, Phish, Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond, Aerosmith, Little Feat, Smokey Robinson and Bonnie Raitt.
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A few Friday Attractions:
4 p.m. Lads & Ladies Lead Line/PeeWee Showmanship
5 p.m. Dairy Goat milking
6 p.m. Antique Tractor Parade
6-7 p.m. “Put It In A Pot.” Floriculture Demo
7 to 9:30 p.m. KUBB Colgate Country Showdown
8 p.m. Salsa Contest judging
A sampling of Saturday’s highlights:
9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Junior Livestock Auction
Noon. New early Opening time
2 p.m. – New. “Cutest Duckling Contest.”
7 p.m. - New. Bull Riding
8:30 p.m. Night Ranger. (“Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”/“Sister Christian”)
For information call (209) 722-1507, visit the website, www.MercedCountyFair.com and connect on Facebook and Twitter.