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Sept. 17, 2015

Tulare County Fair makes learning fun
Wild science, wild animals and the return of Buttercup the Cow

The Tulare County Fair will make learning fun, beginning with school tours, a display of wild animals, the return of Buttercup the Cow, and a new hands-on “Wild Science” exhibit.

Even the new duck race is an educational opportunity, as children learn about ducks from Ducks Unlimited.

School tours offer free admission for teachers and students from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, and Friday, Sept. 18. Applications for school tours (available online at www.tcfair.org) are due by Sept. 14. Children will be able to see and learn about farm animals and agriculture, see exotic animals in the “Walk on the Wild Side” exhibit and watch a sculptor create an all-new huge display entirely of butter.

The butter cow was introduced at the 2014 fair and attracted a great deal of attention, said Pamela Fyock, CEO of the Fair. This year, Pennsylvania sculptor Jim Victor will create an elaborate depiction of the Valley’s major commodities, including Buttercup the Cow, grapes, citrus, corn, nuts and a 3-foot tall gallon of milk. He will create the display throughout the five days of the fair, using almost 800 pounds of butter.

The exhibit at the Tulare County Fair, sponsored by Land O’Lakes and HR Mobile Services, supporting and assisting dairymen, will be about eight feet long and six feet tall. Fairgoers can watch Victor create the display, sculpting the butter onto a structure of steel, wood and foam, which is necessary to support the butter.

In coordination with the exhibit, the Fair will display information about the dairy industry in Tulare County, where milk reigns as number one.

“Wild Science” is a new family attraction, consisting of dozens of highly interactive exhibits and activities that allow kids to explore the amazing world of science and technology. The attraction is one of many offered free with gate admission.

Mind Works! is a 2,500-square-foot exhilarating attraction featuring a collection of puzzles, giant classic games, bubble arena, a construction zone, and a toddler area that will tease and challenge minds of all ages.  Many of the displays in this fun and interactive exhibit are STEM-based and involve critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork.

Local antique farm equipment collectors will show as many as 50 antique tractors at a display south of the livestock exhibits on the fairgrounds. The collectors will also parade their tractors daily. Fair-goers will also see the variety of livestock reared by local youth involved in 4H and FFA. The annual Junior Livestock Auction will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the fairgrounds.

“Walk on the Wild Side,” introduced last year, will again provide families with the chance to see wild animals that were without a place to live until adopted by a nonprofit in Oregon. The refuge houses 175 animals, including 84 species of exotics, reptiles and birds. Cougars, lions, tigers and alligators are among the animals rescued by the organization. Children can tour this display at no additional cost and experience a petting zoo.

Sudsy’s Barn, sponsored by Tulare Regional Medical Center, offers a “hands-on” activity for children, teaching them the importance of washing their hands.

The Tulare County Fair will offer exhibits, entertainment and nightly concerts on the Budweiser Stage, free with gate admission. Headliner entertainers announced to date are comedian Paul Rodriguez on Wednesday, Sept. 16; classic rockers Foghat, Friday, Sept. 18; Rose Royce on Saturday, Sept. 19; and four-time Grammy winner/hillbilly rocker Marty Stuart on Sunday, Sept. 20. All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and are free with paid admission.

Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for children ages 6-12. Seniors 62 and older are admitted for $5 on Senior Day, Thursday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., sponsored by Humana, Inc. Military Appreciation Day is also Thursday, with $6 admission for active duty military with ID card from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair will offer live local entertainers; new food booths; the Demolition Derby, fun rides, a carnival area just for young children, and more. Visit www.tcfair.org for ongoing updates to the schedule of events.