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Early birds save on fair rides, admission

All-day ride carnival discount coupons and advance general admission discount tickets are availble.

Butler Amusements, the largest carnival company in the Western United States, returns to the Merced County Fair. There will be all kinds of Carnival and Kiddieland fun with more than 35 family and kiddie rides and spectacular thrill rides.

Thrill rides will include the popular Windsurfer, a different version of the ride that was at the 2010 fair that simulates windsurfing. There also will be the Spin Out, Fireball, Giant Scooters, Giant Wheel, Wave Swinger , Evolution, Zipper, Crazy Train, Grand Carousel, Planet Pandora, Tilt-A-Whirl, Scrambler and Orbiter.

Family rides will include the Wacky Worm coaster, Chopper Hopper, Balloon Samba, Looney Tooter train, Lolli Swing, Jumping Jumbos and Berry Go Round. Kiddie rides will include the new Frog Hopper, which combines frog-themed vehicles with a unique interactive bouncing motion. There also will be Wet Boats, Jet Ski, Tom Kangaroo, the Kid Wheel and the Kid Country walk-through adventure.

The deadline to buy advance all-day-ride carnival discount coupons and advance general admission discount tickets is Tuesday at 5 p.m. The fair is June 15 to 19.

Discount coupons and tickets are available at several locations, including Rancho San Miguel Market, 1930 Yosemite Parkway. The discounted carnival ride coupons and admission tickets are available at the store's inside check booth across from the registers from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through June 14. All sales are cash only.There's also a new way to save on general fair admission with the season pass. The pass is $35 and admits one fairgoer to all five days of the fair. That's a $5 savings compared to the cost of five single day advance general admission discount tickets at $40.

The discounted carnival ride coupons, general admission tickets and season passes are on sale at http://www.mercedcountyfair.com through 5 p.m. Tuesday and at the following sales outlets:

Merced County Fairgrounds Office, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through June 10. Cash or Credit Card only.

Fair Office Ticket Booth, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Saturday, June 11-Tuesday, June 14, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cash only.

Carnival ride coupons will be sold at the Merced Flea Market, G Street and Childs Avenue, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 4 and June 11. Cash only.

Sales at the Merced Flea Market, Fair Office Ticket Booth and Rancho San Miguel Market are cash only. Online sales are credit only.

Pay-one-price coupons can be exchanged for an unlimited ride wrist wrap any one day of the fair and are sold in advance for $23. During the fair, pay-one-price wrist wraps cost $30 each. Bracelets are good for one day of unlimited rides.

Advance general admission discount tickets (13 years and over) are $8, a $2 savings compared to passes purchased during the fair for $10. There are no discount tickets available for child admission. Child admission (6 to 12 years) is $3 and children aged 5 and under get in free to the fair daily.

You can pick up a voucher for a free child admission ticket that's valid during weekdays of the fair, at participating O'Reilly Kragen Auto Parts stores in Merced, Atwater, Los Banos, Turlock and Madera.

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