Fair's Day 3 schedule features Kids Tours, country star Clay Walker and contests

The Merced County Fair said its Day 3 starts early in the livestock area with Rabbit Meat Pens -- three bunnies in a condo-- followed by Breeding Rabbits, Avian Science, 4-H and FFA Showmanship and Small Animal Round Robin.

Fair events head into the evening with the rabbit auction at 7 p.m. and replacement dairy heifer sale supported by Rabobank at 7:30 p.m.

Also on tap is Kids’ Tours. It’s today only and hundreds of kids from local summer recreation programs, day cares and Scouting organizations will get behind-the-scenes tours of the fairgrounds. The tours start at 8:30 a.m., a half hour early, because there have been more sign-ups this year with the fair’s move to June.

At the CVC/CVT Outdoor Theatre at 8:30 p.m., Clay Walker, the multi-platinum-selling country music artist, will perform. Walker, whose current smash hit, “She Won’t Be Lonely Long,” is at No. 5 on the Billboard Country music charts after more than six months of climbing. He just released his new album last week. Walker was diagnosed with multiple schlerosis in 1996, and when he’s not performing he devotes a lot of time to Band Against MS (BAMS) the charity he founded to help others living with the disease.

A few Thursday Highlights:

5 to 9 p.m. Merced Assembly Center Memorial.(Docents will be available to showcase the new memorial’s latest addition: a set of five historical storyboards.)

5:30 p.m. Eastwind Martial Arts

7 p.m. “It’s The Cheesecake” Contest

7 p.m. Philippine Folk Dancers

8 p.m. Appetizer “Day of” Cooking Contest

A few Friday attractions:

9 am. – noon. Friends Helping Friends. (Annual day for almost 1,000 special needs kids and adults)

6 p.m. Large Animal Round Robin

6 p.m. PreRodeo Festivities -- Crowning of the 2010 Rodeo Queen and Honoring Grand Marshal. (See which contestant takes home the coveted sash, belt and crown)

7 p.m. CCPRA Rodeo

7 p.m. KUBB Colgate Country Showdown. (Last year’s winners are judging this year)

8:30 p.m. Tower of Power. (What is Hip?” “You’re Still A Young Man,” “So Very Hard To Go,” “Soul Vaccination”)

"Wetlands, Water and Wildlife" factoid of the day: Meet the Red-Shouldered Hawk and the Tree Swallow – the hawk keeps rodents under control and the swallows help reduce the insect population without using chemicals.

For information call (209) 722-1507, visit the website, www.MercedCountyFair.com and connect on Facebook and Twitter.