81st Annual Monterey County Fair celebrates ‘Summer of Love’

(Contributed photo)

MONTEREY — Celebrate the “Summer of Love” at the 81st Annual Monterey County Fair, Aug. 31 to Sept. 4, in Monterey, where more than 75,000 fairgoers are expected to come together for fun activities and events at the fairgrounds nestled on 22 oak-studded acres in the city.

The always popular carnival and Flying U Rodeo return to the fair this year along with an entire grounds full of free entertainment, including Oakland funk band Tower of Power, country singer John Michael Montgomery, Paperback Writer and a tribute to The Beatles.

Come admire the community’s showcase of diverse talents on display throughout the fair.

In the Floriculture Department, view floral arrangements, cut flowers, orchids, potted plants and garden displays. In the Visual Arts Department, check out photography, sculpture, bronze casting, assemblage, weaving, ceramics, handmade paper, glass, jewelry, baskets and more.

Visit the Adult Home Arts Department as well as its junior counterpart to see the sights and delicious smells of baked goods and preserved foods. There are also bottled wines and home-brewed beer to admire in addition to the crafts and textiles arena featuring handmade items.

The Ag Building entries include grain and dry beans, organic salad products, vegetables, vine crops and honey.

The 4H, FFA and Scouts Department also have exhibits in the building and in the barn areas with their animals that they have raised this past year.

Monterey County Fair promotes the county’s rich agricultural heritage with livestock demonstrations, displays and auctions to raise money for scholarships, including the participation of more than 5,000 local youth through programs such as FFA and 4-H in festivities offered at the fair.

Eight area youths and their animals will be honored as champions after the Monterey County Fair Junior Livestock Auction, set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2.

“The heart and soul of the fair is the junior livestock program,” said Fair CEO Kelly Violini. “Many of the exhibitors relay on their earnings from their projects to pay for their college educations. Supporting the junior livestock auction, not only supports the youth of our county, but is a tax-deductible donation.” 

The mission of the Monterey County Fair (part of the 7th District Agricultural Association) is to create, produce and offer quality events in a unique setting, as well as to educate, entertain and inspire people in order to promote the agricultural heritage and diverse resources of Monterey County.

The fair also operates a Kids Club to encourage Monterey County youth to learn more about the event and get involved with many fair activities year-round while having fun, such as the Read and Ride contest, coloring contest, Mutton Bustin’ and other special Kids’ Day activities.

This year’s Monterey County Fair theme is “Fair Fun in the Summer of Love,” a 50th annual tribute to the Summer of Love movement in 1967. For more information, visit the website montereycountyfair.com.