Photos by Ryan Cronk/South County Newspapers

SOUTH COUNTY — The 74th annual Salinas Valley Fair was packed with entertainment, livestock, youth exhibits and displays of the Salinas Valley’s rich agricultural heritage and abundance.

The fair, which ran May 17 to 20 under the theme “Lettuce Turnip the Beet,” saw 39,616 attendees along with a record-breaking Junior Livestock Auction that grossed more than $2.2 million for 4-H and FFA members from Santa Cruz, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara and Monterey counties.

Salinas Valley Fair CEO TJ Plew said the Salinas Valley once again came out to support the youth of the community.

“Our fair’s legacy is linked to our 4-H and FFA traditions and the agriculture education programs that are delivered at the Salinas Valley Fair,” Plew said. “Our volunteers, auction buyers and sponsors, Fair Board Members and employees all rally around the auction to ensure the kids in the Salinas Valley know that we support them.”

The Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation’s livestock animal, raised by Alexandria Burgess of Salinas, was sold for an impressive $470 per pound, raising more than $119,000. The foundation will use the proceeds from the sale for improvements at the fairgrounds.

Local winners at the Market Livestock Show included Sierra Short of Chualar 4-H with a Grand Champion Market Hog; Jack Lindley of Chualar 4-H with a Reserve Grand Champion Market Hog; Tessa Rava of King City Rural 4-H with a Reserve Grand Champion Replacement Heifer; Adele Orradre of King City Rural 4-H with a Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer; Jahiaira Diaz of Greenfield FFA with a FFA Champion Poultry Meat Pen; and Alyssa Ramey of Greenfield FFA with a FFA Reserve Champion Poultry Meat Pen.

There was something for everyone during the fair’s four-day run. The fair’s daily featured entertainment, the Sea Lion Splash, educated and delighted audiences with a message on the importance of keeping the ocean and storm drains clean.

“When we can educate and entertain, that’s magic,” Plew said.

On Thursday, the arena hosted “The Farmer 500,” produced by Pacific Ag Rentals, featuring amateur drivers from all over the valley, while the amateur talent contest wowed audiences in the Steinbeck Stage, and in the Orradre Building award-winning wines from the Monterey International Wine Competition were sampled during the Grand Tasting at the fair’s opening night event. 

Truck pulls returned to the fair Friday night, and visitors also packed into popular annual events like mutton bustin, bull riding and jaripeo in the arena, while wrestling and hypnotists on the Steinbeck Stage entertained, as well as live music from popular bands in the Longbranch Saloon.

Planning for the 75th annual Salinas Valley Fair scheduled for May 16-19, 2019, in King City is already underway. Fair competition results and more information is available at or stop by the fair office at 625 Division St. in King City.

View more photos of the 2018 Salinas Valley Fair in next week’s special photo album publication in the paper.

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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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