KING CITY — Music, great food and more brought together close to 500 people for the annual Salinas Valley Fair Kickoff Dinner on April 22. The night kicks off the Salinas Valley Fair by recognizing its supporters and raising funds for the Fair facilities.

“It is a very important night because the Fair Kickoff is where we celebrate one of the most anticipated events of the spring, the Salinas Valley Fair,” said Board of Directors President Tim Baldwin.

The 2017 Salinas Valley Fair “Cowboy Up and Wind Down” is going to have returning events and new favorites. Bull riding will return Saturday night, May 20, which will also see the return of the Junior Livestock Auction, auctioning off steer, heifers, swine, sheep, poultry and goats.

The Agri Race also known as the Farmer 500 will be returning for its second year on May 18. Thursday is a very eventful day at the Fair, including the Grand Wine Tasting and the Amateur Talent Show.

A new event for the Fair will be the 4X4 Truck Pulls that will occur on Friday night, May 19. Throughout the day of the Fair there will be BMX riding shows.

“The fair this year is May 18-21, it is going to be four days of fun,” said 2017 Miss Salinas Valley Fair Rena Escobar.

The Fair Kickoff Dinner Dance also was the revealing of the Auction Dedicatee that selected George and Angie Young for 2017.

A special honoree for the Fair Kickoff was Scott Anthony who has served on the Fair Board for over 20 years. Anthony retired this year and was presented with a service award by Baldwin.

“Scott served as our treasurer for almost the entire time he was on the Fair Board,” Baldwin said. “Thanks to you our supporters and in large part thanks to Scott for his hard work as our treasurer, we’ve always remained fiscally stable.”

The Salinas Valley Fair has also made some improvements this year to its facilities. Over the past year over $150,000 has been invested in new equipment, including a new stage that was used for the Fair Kickoff. More tables and chairs have been purchased and improvements have been made to the lighting, painting and roofing on its buildings.

“A driving force in all of the improvements is the Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation, which has been our partner in all of these improvements,” Baldwin said.

According to Heritage Foundation President Dennis Ing, the Heritage Foundation idea was formed in 2001 and the following year a 501(c3) non-profit organization was formed to raise funds for capital projects.

Currently the Heritage Foundation selects one 4-H or FFA member each year to raise the Heritage animal. This year that recipient was Matthew Umbarger, who was attending a State Competition for FFA during the Fair Kickoff Dinner.

Umbarger’s expenses for raising his eighth and final hog for the Salinas Valley Fair are covered by the Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation, which gave Umbarger a scholarship that he can use to further his education.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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