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Fair opens Friday
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The Stanislaus County Fair opens Friday for a 10-day run that is themed, "Nuts are DINO-mite," a salute to the valley's robust nut industry.

The entertainment this year is big. Try the Beach Boys and Doobie Brothers on for size. If those acts don't fit, there's always Raven and Building 429.

The Doobies are set to perform at the Stanislaus County Fair on Wednesday, July 30, at 8:30 p.m. on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage. All concerts are included with Fair admission.

"The entire staff has pulled together to produce what we think may be one of the most exciting fairs ever," said Pennie Rorex, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair. "We've packed the grounds with adventure around every corner."

Rorex said there are discount days to suit the entire family, free celebrity concerts every night and discount tickets available through Thursday. Fair admission tickets and unlimited ride wristbands may be purchased online at now through closing day of the Fair. However, discounts only apply on purchases made before 7 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are also available at Valley First Credit Union branches in Modesto, Oakdale and Turlock during normal banking hours.

Local bidders will have the chance to take home some of the finest livestock in the Central Valley at the Fair's 41st annual Replacement Heifer Sale on Friday, Aug. 1, and the 44th annual Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday, Aug. 2.

Buyers may pre-register for the sale and auction at the Fair's Exhibits Office, in Costco Commercial Exhibits Building E-2, until 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1.

"For many 4-H and FFA exhibitors, the money raised at the Heifer Sale and Junior Livestock Auction is the start of a generous contribution to a first car, a college fund or money that will bring childhood dreams to reality," said Rorex. "I think bidders would be hard-pressed to find animals that are better fed and better cared for than those exhibited at the Stanislaus County Fair."

Buyers are invited to the 41st annual Replacement Heifer Sale on Friday, Aug. 1, immediately following the Dairy Awards Assembly which begins at 7 p.m. in the Thurman Pavilion, sponsored by County Bank.

See the county's finest rabbits, poultry, market steer, swine, sheep and goats at the 44th Annual Junior Livestock Auction, Saturday, Aug. 2 following the Livestock Awards Assembly in the Thurman Pavilion sponsored by County Bank. The assembly begins at 8 a.m.

Catalogs for the 2008 Replacement Heifer Sale are available now through Aug. 1 in the Fair's Livestock Office. The Livestock Office is located on the fairgrounds, near the Soderquist Road entrance.

Catalogs for the Junior Livestock Auction will be available on the morning of the auction and will be distributed during bidder registration and check-in.

Over 1,700 4-H and FFA animals are entered in the Fair.

New to the 2008 Fair will be Jurassic Journey, an 8,000-square-foot life-size dinosaur replica exhibit sponsored by Sky Trek Aviation.

The Almond Board of California, a major sponsor of the Fair's themed tribute, will be offering free samples of almonds each day of the Fair.

The Stanislaus County Fair's 2008 lineup on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage includes:

• Clay Walker - Friday, July 25;

• Bowling for Soup - Saturday, July 26;

• Sawyer Brown - Sunday, July 27;

• Building 429 and Matthew West - Monday, July 28;

• Little Big Town - Tuesday, July 29;

• The Doobie Brothers - Wednesday, July 30;

• Raven-Symoné - Thursday, July 31;

• The Beach Boys - Friday, Aug. 1;

• The Temptations - Saturday, Aug. 2;

• Mariachi Vargas - Sunday, Aug. 3.

In addition to the Budweiser Variety Free Stage entertainment included with Fair gate admission, tickets are on sale now for motorsport and bull riding excitement in the FoodMaxx Arena including:

• Tuff Trucks (with Tropical Thunder & The Patriot Monster Trucks): Friday, July 25, 7:30 p.m.;

• Truck & Tractor Pulls (with Tropical Thunder & The Patriot Monster Trucks): Saturday, July 26, 6:30 p.m.;

• Humpz & Hornz Bull Riding: Sunday, July 27, 7 p.m.;

• Destruction Derby I: Traditional Turmoil: Monday, July 28, 7 p.m. Reserved seating for this show is sold out. However, 1,200 general admission seats (bleacher seating) will go on sale at 5 p.m. the day of the event at the FoodMaxx Arena Box Office.

• Destruction Derby II: Metal Mayhem: Tuesday, July 29, 7 p.m.

• Quad Drags & Motorcycle Jumpers: Wednesday, July 30, 7 p.m.

• Budweiser Clydesdales Arena Show and CCPRA Rodeo: Thursday, July 31, 6:45 p.m. (FREE with price of Fair admission)

• QuadCross & Pee Wee Bikes: Friday, Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.

• Motocross: Saturday, Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m.

• Mud Bog: Sunday, Aug. 3, 7 p.m.

Motorsport and bull riding event ticket pricing information and the Fair's complete 10-day schedule of events are available online now at