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FFA, 4-Hers showing animals at the Fair
Joshuah Michelena
Central Valley High School FFA member Joshuah Michelena placed 8th in Novice Dairy Showmanship on Friday and showed his dairy grade calf again on Saturday to receive first place in FFA Spring Dairy Calf.

The Stanislaus County Fair is in full swing in Turlock and completely back to normal following the 2020 cancellation related to COVID and following a watered down version in 2021.

Back are the carnival midway rides, entertainment and arena acts and commercial and other exhibits.

Enjoying the return of the fair are hundreds of youth in 4-H Club and Future Farmers of America who are showing animals all week.

Central Valley High FFA member Josh Ludwig brought his 260-pound hog to the fair and won a second place ribbon on Monday morning. Ludwig also claimed fifth place in FFA Advanced Swine Showmanship on Tuesday. He said it felt good that the fair has returned to normal.

“I enjoy the competition – it gets me excited,” said Ludwig, who has shown animals for eight years.

Josh Ludwig
The swine entry of Central Valley High School FFA member Josh Ludwig, probably wouldn’t be smiling if it knew its fate impending with its sale at the end of the fair. The 260-pound hog won a second place ribbon on Monday morning. - photo by Jeff Benziger

With the fair resuming as it was in 2019, members of the Ceres Lions Club have also returned to oversee the west and north parking lots. 

Friday marked the first night of the 2022 Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock. Gates officially opened to the public at 5 p.m., but that didn’t stop folks from arriving early. The first people in line for general admission were Austin and Dovie Mohr of Denair who waited beginning at 2:30 p.m.

“We’re big fans of the fair and we’re just super excited to be here,” Austin said.

The couple explained that they are looking to catch up on lost time by coming multiple days during the 10-day run. 

“We come to the fair every year, normally just one day per fair, but this time we’re coming for two days,” said Dovie. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do this.”

The two planned on going on as many rides as possible on the opening night before returning to see the band Smash Mouth with their kids on Saturday.

Members of local FFA and 4-H organizations were at the fairgrounds for most of Friday, caring for their animals and preparing them for the week ahead.

A number of Ceres FFA and 4-H members have realized respectable accomplishments thus far into the Fair.

Central Valley High School FFA member Joshuah Michelena placed 8th in Novice Dairy Showmanship on Friday and showed his dairy grade calf again on Saturday to receive first place in FFA Spring Dairy Calf.

Liana Guzman
Central Valley High School FFA member Liana Guzman showed her sheep on Monday morning. - photo by Jeff Benziger

Also from CVHS FFA, Liana Guzman earned second place in Intermediate Rabbit Showmanship.

Abbie Milligan represented Central Valley FFA when on Monday she won “Best of Show” with her cavies entries and third place in FFA Cavy showmanship.

The chapter also entered vegetables for judging which were harvested at the school farm. Members who entered them in a creative display were Guillermo Garibay, Briann Tavares, Lliria Lira Trinidad, and Josh Ludwig.

Some of the early birds to the fairgrounds also included fans of the band WAR, dressed in their favorite band merchandise. The Long Beach group rocked the Coors Light stage late into the night in front of a packed house. Seats also quickly filled the FoodMaxx Arena ahead of the diesel and smoker Truck and Tractor Pull competition.

Saturday brought a packed audience for Smash Mouth who replaced lead singer Steve Harwell with Zach Goode.

Sunday brought Karla Perez with her “Selena” Tribute while double platinum hip hop star Sean Kinsgton entertained on Monday. Tuesday crowds enjoyed country artist Gary Allan.Sugar Ray performs tonight at 8:30 p.m.

Entertainment acts for the rest of the Fair include:

• R&B Hip Hop Artist Bone Thugs -N- Harmony on Thursday, July 14 at 8:30 p.m.

• “The Voice” Winner “Danielle Bradbery”, on Friday, July 15 at 8:30 p.m.

• Legendary rock band Night Ranger on Saturday, July 16 at 8:30 p.m.

• Latino music recording artist Luis Coronel on Sunday, July 17at 8:30 p.m. 

Ceres’ own Greg Scudder will perform at the Fair at 6:20 p.m. Thursday on the Michelob Stage.

Fair admission for those aged 13 to 64 is $15 during the Fair, or $12 if purchased by Thursday at the Fair office. Child admission is $7 if aged between 7 and 12 and free for those 6 and younger. Seniors 65 and older will be charged $7. 

Carnival ride wristbands cost $35 per person weekdays and $40 for the weekends.

Parking is $10 per vehicle.

Fair admission tickets, unlimited ride wristbands are available online now. Visit the Fair’s website for ticket information and purchases at