Fair to offer special free tours to youth groups June 17

The Merced County Fair said it's offering special tours of exhibit buildings and the Old MacDonald's Farm for children's groups from area schools, scouting organizations and summer recreation programs.

The fair is June 15-20. Reservations for the free tours, which last up to 90 minutes, are available now for Thursday, June 17, from 9 a.m. to noon. Tours are offered before the fairgrounds open to the general public, so kids get a chance to experience the farm and exhibit buildings when there's more elbowroom.

The fair's theme is "Wetlands, Water and Wildlife." Some of the exhibits at Old MacDonald's Farm and Petting Barn and the Ag Exhibits Building will educate fairgoers about the annual theme and the importance of water to humans and animals.

At Old MacDonald's Farm, kids will get to see lots of animals including rabbits, goats, cows, sheep, pigs and even water buffaloes, plus they'll get a chance to milk a goat. At the Petting Barn, youngsters can get up close and personal with the baby farm animals.

Reservations are recommended because the tours are popular. To schedule a tour, call (209) 722-1507. Visit the 2010 Merced County Fair's website, www.MercedCountyFair. com and connect with us -- find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.