Publisher Susan Mattos asked me to give you an update on this year’s activities featured at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in place of the actual full-fledged fair. As the longest sitting Fair board member, I am happy to say that the board voted unanimous to hold events in July that you will like, however you should know this is nothing like an actual fair.

The good news is that the “Summer of Fun” will be held over three weekends, including tractor pulls, dirt drags, destruction derbies and Monster Trucks (including a giant dinosaur that will rip up at least one of these trucks). Tickets are on sale now at or by calling the fairgrounds, 209-668-1333. Parking is free in the North Lot (Broadway and Fulkerth entrance).

The fair board also approved a complete livestock show for small and large animals and each will have its own virtual and live auction where our young showmen and women will compete. Livestock is limited each day for the species and the people participating starting on July 7 and ending July 24. Find the schedule on the fair website.

The arena events are the paid events, and they will offer food and drink to those holding tickets. As you read this, the arena is about half sold at most events and we expect full houses many nights, so get your tickets now. Here is a schedule for the arena:

7/9 Tractor Pulls

Gates at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m., run time is 2 hours

7/10 Tractor Pulls

Gates at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m., run time is 2 hours

7/11 Dirt Drags

Gates at 2:30 p.m., show at 4 p.m., run time is 3 hours

7/16 Destruction Derby

Gates at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m., run time is 2 hours

7/17 Destruction Derby

Gates at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m., run time is 2 hours

7/23 Monster Trucks

Gates at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m., run time is 2 hours

7/24 Monster Truck

Gates at 5:30p, show at 7 p.m., run time is 2 hrs

The Monster Truck event will feature a fire breathing dinosaur which will take bites out of the vehicles and breathe fire.  

 The Fire crew on-site will be Turlock Rural Fire Department. 

The arena will have a max capacity of 4,500 consisting of both reserved and general admission seating.  Food and beer will be available for purchase.  

Fair Bites

Fair bites is the fair food portion of the Summer of Fun event series.  During the month of July, we will have several fair food vendors providing fair food.  Eight stands will be open with the following schedules:

• Friday July 9, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

• Saturday, July 10, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

• Sunday, July 11, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

• Friday, July 16, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

• Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

• Sunday, July 18, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

• Friday, July 23, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

• Saturday, July 24, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

• Sunday, July 25, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

The stands will be placed in their usual locations on the grounds utilizing the fair’s power, sewer and water.  Setup for all stands will start Thursday July 8 and be ready to open at 10 a.m. on the 9th.  The stands will be closed during the week. No alcohol will be sold on the fairgrounds, only inside the arena events.

Outdoor Shopping

There will also be a limited number of outdoor vendors providing a shopping experience for guests during the Summer of Fun.  They will have a very limited schedule and only operate on the following days and time:

• Friday, July 9, 5-9 p.m.

• Saturday, July 10, 2-10 p.m. 

• Saturday, July 17, 3-8 p.m. 

• Saturday, July 23, 5-9 p.m.

• Sunday, July 24, 2-10 p.m.

General Event Information.

All parking for Arena Events and Fair Bites will be in the North Lot (Broadway/Fulkerth entrance) while livestock will park in the West Lot (Soderquist entrance). All parking is free.  

No live music or staged performances.


NEWS BUSINESS HAS CHANGED. There is no question that the news business is much different today than when I returned to Newman to purchase The West Side INDEX in 1976. People loved newspapers and businesses were booming. Since then, this paper has been named the best of its size in California and also bringing to Newman some outstanding awards. The Gustine Press-Standard replaced the Standard and brought Gustine a great newspaper. I left the paper many years ago, and Susan and her staff have continued to bring you the best weekly news coverage ever. They expanded certain areas, and the seasoned staff brought you some awesome news coverage and excellent service. In fact, this newspaper is the only place for local news. The other daily newspapers no longer set foot in our communities unless there are major crimes and accidents.

I am hopeful that a new ownership team will take over and continue bringing you the news you know, want and need. I am proud of having served you at this newspaper for many years, and I’m proud of Susan, Dean and the team who have brought you outstanding news and views for many years.