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County Fair starts Friday
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The 2012 Stanislaus County Fair opens Friday for a 10-day run.

The 2012 Fair will feature the highly popular Rainforest Adventure, sponsored by Sky Trek Aviation.

Also planned for 2012 are nine nights of metal-mashing motorsports plus one night of rodeo in the FoodMaxx Arena, a total of four stages of live entertainment, upwards of 30,000 local exhibits and over 1,750 animals.

A number of big name groups have signed up for the Fair, including Sawyer Brown for opening night at 8:30 p.m. on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage and is free with the price of Fair admission.

Classic rock band Foreigner is sure to draw a huge crowd on Saturday, July 14. The concert will be held on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage at 8:30 p.m. and is free with the price of Fair admission. The performance will be hosted by 104.1 The Hawk.

"Foreigner is a great addition to this year's entertainment," said Adrenna Alkhas, spokesperson for the Fair. "Foreigners on stage energy will be one of the highlights of the Fair."

Foreigner, founded in 1976, has sold more than 70 million albums and has achieved multi-platinum success worldwide. Their sound is a mix of electrifying blustery blues and crafted pop. Their music is loved and appreciated by music fans of all generations.

In 2011, Foreigner released a greatest hits album titled, "Feels Like The First Time." Album sales for the band were at their highest since the 80's. Foreigner is recognized by their song titles with hits like "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Waiting For A Girl Like You," "Double Vision," and "Hot Blooded." Foreigner has spent more weeks on the Billboard chart at #1 than any Atlantic Records band in the same genre for the past 60 years.

American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler will perform on Monday, July 16 at 8:30 p.m.

The Peking Chinese Acrobats perform at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 on the free stage.

The Wiggles will be on the same stage at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18.

Uncle Kracker performs on Thursday, July 19 at 8:30 p.m.

Bret Michaels will appear on Friday, July 20.

Country music star LeAnn Rimes will perform at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 21.

Hispanic sensations Diego Verdaguer and Amanda Miguel are performing on the final night of the fair - Sunday, July 22 on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage. The performance will begin at 8:30 p.m.

At the age of 14, Diego began pursuing his career in music by forming the group Reno y Rino. A short three years later, Diego was known for his first solo hit, "Yo Solamente Yo", and his series of guest appearances on the youth television show "Sótano Beat."

Later in life, Diego Verdaguer received two Latin Grammy nominations in 2009 for Best Ranchero Album and Best Regional Mexican Song for "Voy A Conquistarte". His newest contribution to Spanish popular music is "Mexicano Hasta Las Pampas: Una Nueva Aventura."

Amanda Miguel's first single, "Papá cuando regreses", was released when she was 23 years old. Her second big hit, "El me mintió," was recorded with Diego Verdaguer. Her long awaited new album, "Anillo de Compromiso", shows her love and commitment to Mexico and the Mexican people. The singer says this album will be her gift to the audience of her adopted country, Mexico.

The 45th annual Replacement Heifer Sale will take place on Friday, July 13 at 7 p.m. in the Thurman Pavilion. Also in the Thurman Pavilion will be the 48th annual Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday, July 21 at 8 a.m.

"Fair guests are always impressed with student livestock at the Fair," said Laura Moore, Exhibits Manager. "We know the students will have another successful year."

Savings offered

There are ways to save at the Fair. Guests can find additional savings using the free Fair Savings Coupon Book, available at Modesto and Turlock FoodMaxx Stores. The coupon book will have discounts and deals on food and other vendors at the fair.

Discounted admission tickets are on sale now through Thursday, July 12 at 7 p.m. for $10 (a $12 value). Guests who want unlimited ride wristbands can purchase wristbands for $23 (a $30 value). FoodMaxx Arena tickets are also on sale now for motorsport events. Buy Derby tickets before they sell out.

"If guests are looking to save while at the Fair this year, there are savings opportunities each day," said Alkhas. "We understand that savings is important to our guests, so we have come up with some creative ways to save including some fun Friday the 13th specials."

Fair savings and deals are listed below:

Friday, July 13

· Those named Jason can get into the fair for free with valid ID.

· "Test Your Luck" fortune cookie giveaway for the first 1,000 guests for a chance to win a free adult admission ticket.

· Modesto Bee Night at the Fair with gifts for the first 1,000 guests

· Bring two or more canned food items and receive $2 off one adult admission ticket benefitting the United Samaritans.

· $1 Ride Night

Saturday, July 14

· Emanuel Cancer Center Day at the Fair with gifts for the first 1,000 guests.

· Seniors 65 and older get in for free.

Sunday, July 15

· Emanuel Family Practice Day at the Fair with gifts for the first 1,000 guests.

· Free 'til 3 p.m. where all guests can get in the Fair for free until 3 p.m. sponsored by FOX 40.

Monday, July 16

· Modesto Nuts Night at the Fair with gifts for the first 1,000 guests.

· $3 off one adult admission ticket with Taco Bell coupon (valid for Monday July 16 to Friday July 20.)

Tuesday, July 17

· 7-Up Night at the Fair

· $4 off an adult admission ticket and/or $2 off one carnival ride wristband with 7-Up coupon (xoupons on 2-liter bottles of 7-Up at participating retailers)

Wednesday, July 18

· Tri Counties Bank Night at the Fair with gifts for first 1,000 guests.

Thursday, July 19

· Sutter Health Central Valley Region Night at the Fair with gifts for the first 1,000 guests.

· Kids Free Night - Kids 12 and under are admitted free all day.

Friday, July 20

· Turlock Irrigation District (TID) Night at the Fair with gifts for the first 1,000 guests.

Saturday, July 21

· Valley First Credit Union Day at the Fair with gifts for the first 1,000 guests.

Sunday, July 22

· Cencal Beverage Day at the Fair with gifts for the first 1,000 guests.

· $2 off one admission ticket with (6) or more empty aluminum cans for Recycle Sunday.

· Free admission until 3 p.m. sponsored by FOX 40.

To receive future Fair announcements by text message, text the word "FAIR" to 99299. Fair enthusiasts can also follow how the 2012 Fair is developing at In addition, become a fan of the Fair at