Los Banos

Merced County Spring Fair names its grand marshal

The Merced County Spring Fair has for a second time tapped the son of a grand marshal for the honor.

Ron Alberti, a longtime board member and volunteer for the “May Day Fair” – as it is often called – will be introduced as parade grand marshal at the fair kickoff dinner April 12.

Alberti’s father, Emil Alberti, and his uncle Henry Alberti served as grand marshals in 1989. The fair’s board of directors last year selected Jerry and Dollie O’Banion as grand marshals. Jerry’s father, Emory, twice served as a grand marshal and the fairgrounds’ main exhibit building carries the O’Banion name.

“From the time I was born, my father was involved in the fair.” Alberti said.

Dairyman Emil Alberti of Los Banos was a 4-H leader for 35 years and helped establish the dairy replacement heifer show at the Spring Fair. He also served on the fair’s livestock committee for 20 years.

Ron Alberti followed in his father’s footsteps.

“I was an exhibitor at the fair from age 10 (to) 19 and then became a 4-H leader for 12 years,” said the Los Banos native.

Ron Alberti was twice appointed to the fair’s board of directors, serving for a total of 22 years, before stepping down in 2007. His tenure oversaw the construction of two new livestock buildings for sheep and swine. One building has been converted into the Henry Miller Farm exhibit. The larger barn is for sheep and swine exhibits.

Alberti serves on the livestock committee, assists with cooking chores for fair directors and sponsors a sausage contest. He is also a donor of numerous awards for youth and assists with the junior livestock auction.

Alberti is involved in the family farming business, growing cotton and alfalfa. He is a member of Native Sons, the Sportsmen’s Club and the Los Banos Golden Agers.

Alberti will be riding a red 1965 Mustang in the May 3 parade.