SOUTH COUNTY — An opening ceremony for the 75th Annual Salinas Valley Fair is set for Thursday morning to celebrate the milestone anniversary and commence this year’s festivities at the fairgrounds in King City.

Community members are invited to attend the May 16 opening at 10:45 a.m. near the fair’s Main Gate, where staff will host a brief ceremony and serve an anniversary-themed cake.

Since 1941, the Salinas Valley Fair has provided a venue for showcasing the area’s agriculture, bringing in tens of millions of dollars through the Junior Livestock Auction in addition to offering an array of fair food and carnival rides for both young and old alike.

This year’s fair will run from Thursday, May 16, through Sunday, May 19.

According to Salinas Valley Fair CEO TJ Plew, the 2019 theme “Farm to Fable” showcases the “agricultural foundation of the fair and brings in the stories of generations of Salinas Valley residents who have participated in, supported and enjoyed the fair over the past seven-plus decades.”

“The visual direction is a modern and on-trend rendition of classic storybook illustration, bringing in animals, verdant fields and beautiful landscape, all of which define the fair’s environs,” Plew added.

All weekend long attendees can expect their fair-food favorites, such as corndogs, cotton candy and cinnamon rolls, as well as popular carnival games and rides like The Zipper, Tilt-a-Whirl and bumper cars, live music and entertainment and the many exhibits on display. A fireworks show will also take place Thursday evening in celebration of the 75th fair.

Last month the Salinas Valley Fair’s Annual Kickoff Dinner officially kicked off the milestone anniversary. Nearly 600 people attended the April 27 event, which raised more than $120,000 during the evening’s live and silent auctions.

All proceeds from the fundraiser benefited the fair and the Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation.

Also at the kickoff, the 2019 Junior Livestock Auction honorees were announced. This year’s recipients are local farming brothers David and Steven Gill, co-owners of Rio Farms and Gills Onions, who were chosen for their support of youth agricultural education.

The Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m., will conclude with the sale of the Heritage Foundation’s first-ever market goat raised by 2019 scholarship recipient Ivan Trujillo, a junior at Greenfield High School. Auction proceeds will benefit the Heritage Foundation and ongoing projects at the Salinas Valley Fair.

“The fair is a longstanding tradition in the Salinas Valley community,” said Salinas Valley Fair Board Chairman Steven Handley. “We are committed to connecting people by honoring and preserving our valley’s roots and rich legacy.”

Handley added that the Salinas Valley Fair continues to grow year after year, with the goal of involving the community and providing activities for all ages in a safe, fun environment.

For a complete schedule of events, view the Salinas Valley Fair’s official program in today’s issue or visit

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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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