Fair opens with Merced Medical Seniors' Day and 'Saddle Up for Fun'

It's Mercy Medical Center Seniors' Day & Seniors' Day Expo, Wednesday, June 15, and Seniors 65 and better get $2 off admission. The Seniors' Day Expo offers several senior-related vendors between the Pavilion and Central Park.

"Saddle Up For Fun" is the theme that's a tribute to horses and we're celebrating our four-legged friends with five days of entertainment, exhibits, attractions, animals, performances, rides, food and concessions. The fair runs through Sunday, June 19.

Seniors' Day is a new theme discount day at the fair. There's the All Alaskan Racing Pigs, Pedal Tractor Pull Races, stick horse races, the Great American Petting Zoo, amateur wi ne divisions in exhibits, a new "Biscuits and Gravy Day of" cooking contest and foods including cheesecake and pretzels dipped in chocolate. The Auto Races return to Opening Day for the first time in a few years to kick off two nights of racing at Merced Speedway, including colorful modified stock cars. The action starts at 7 p.m. The Grandstand entertainment is presented by Table Mountain Casino, O'Reilly Kragen Auto Parts and Rabobank.

At 8:30 p.m., Lincoln Brewster launches five nights of musical entertainment in the Outdoor Theatre, where all concerts are free with admission. The Outdoor Theatre Concert Series is presented by Table Mountain Casino. Brewster is a guitarist and songwriter who played lead guitar for Steve Perry, former singer with the rock band, Journey and now he's a star on Christian music charts with hits including "God You Reign," "Everlasting God," "Salvation Is Here" and "The Power of Your Name." It's free with the price of admission except for Sunday's Gran Jaripeo in the grandstand.

The fair opens at 5 p.m. but before that 4-H and FFA kids will show their animals, vendors will set up their wares and prepare food, running the rides through safety inspections, the sound equipment team doing soundchecks at the Outdoor Theatre and more.

A snapshot of what's happening Wednesday, June 15:7-10 a.m. Ag Hort Exhibits Received. (It's a parade of fruits, veggies and herbs)8 a.m. 4-H Feeders and Market Sheep. 4 p.m. 4-H Swine Showmanship. 5 p.m. Gates Open. 5 p.m. Great American Petting Zoo (wallabies, llamas , chickens and more). 5:30/7/8/9:30 p.m. All Alaskan Racing Pigs.6 p.m. Antique Tractor Parade.

Thursday, June 16:9 a.m. to Noon. School Tours (hundreds of kids get an exclusive tour).10 a.m. Avian Science. 7 p.m. Trailer Races (six cars towing old boats around the track).

For information call (209) 722-1507, go to www.MercedCountyFair.com, and connect on Facebook and Twitter.