2018 Citrus Fair ride

First fair of the year in town Feb. 15 through 18

It’s three weeks until the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, which means it’s time to prepare for a celebration of America’s innovations. This year’s fair theme is “Making of America,” and highlights everyone and everything that has made the country what it is. From the classic fair corn dog to cotton candy machines, history is everywhere — even at the fair.

The fair kicks off on Friday, Feb. 15 with a noon ribbon cutting in the main lobby entrance. Friday is also Seniors Day, where those 62 and over will get into the fair for free.

Friday evening will have a small host of competitions, with the Lily Lemon and Oran Orange Contest at 5:30 p.m. and the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Queen program at 7:30 p.m.

There are four people competing for the title of 2019 Citrus Fair Queen — Abigail Novak, a senior at Cloverdale High School; Ava Smith, a junior at Windsor High School; Ella Black, a senior at Cloverdale High School; and Jannet Martinez Reyes, a junior at Cloverdale High School.

The Citrus Fair Parade will be on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. This year’s grand marshals are Tom and Dorothy Montoya, high school sweethearts who have been in town since 1946. The parade will run downtown from Third Street and Cloverdale Boulevard to the Citrus Fairgrounds.

Saturday’s special activities are for foodies, with the Orange Surprise Dessert Contest in the Tea Room at 12:30 p.m., a wine tasting at 1 p.m. and the Orange Juicing Contest at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The “Hideaway at the Cabaret” will be in the auditorium at 5 p.m., and presale tickets are required for entry.

Sunday is Family Day, and there are a host of family-friendly events on tap. The Junior Rabbit and Cavy Show will be at 8:30 a.m. and the Open Pygmy Goat Show will be at 9 a.m. All of the buildings will open at 10 a.m.

The Lemon Delight Dessert Contest will be in the Tea Room at 12:30 p.m. At the same time, the tiny Baby Derby diaper race will be in the fair auditorium and Ballet Folklorico will be on the outdoor stage. 

Monday is Kids Day, where children 12 and under get in for free. Those in attendance will be able to enjoy the Junior Dog Care and Training show at 8:30 a.m., talent show winners showcase at noon, small animal youth round robin showmanship at 2 p.m. and the orange juice championship at 3:30 p.m.

As constant attractions, the fair will have both feature and still exhibits, all following the fair theme.

When it comes to narrowing down what fair attractions you want to be sure to see, Citrus Fair CEO Kelley Fonsen Young has some recommendations.

“If you haven’t been to the livestock area, you’ve got to check it out. It’s not just for 4-H and FFA exhibitors,” she said. “It’s a wonderful area with animals and ag. exhibits, open to all fairgoers, young and old. I also suggest making sure you peruse through Warner Hall and check out all of the still exhibits entered by very talented members of the community. On display in Warner are quilts, arts and crafts, woodworking, photography, cut flowers, the Camellia show, non-perishable foods and so much more.”

New to the fair this year is the Go West! gold rush-themed Kid Zone, which will feature activities for the young gold panners in attendance.

“Little adventurers can take the reins on the frontier — panning for golden treasures and doing western themed activities and crafts,” Young continued. “Inside the same building is the Gold Rush Stage with three different shows daily bringing laughter for all ages: Dr. Goodjohn’s Magical Medicine Show, the ‘Think Safety’ Magic Show and Captain Billy's School of 5-String Banjo.”

The last thing Young believes you shouldn’t miss while at the fair? All of the exhibits.

“Keep your eyes open as they will be speckled throughout the fair,” she said. “They include a Ford Model T display; antique motorcycles; a collection of farm tractors and a model of the Wright Flyer, to name a few.”

“We have three major citrus exhibits this year. The Cloverdale Lions Club is doing a steam locomotive, the Rotary Club of Cloverdale is doing the lunar landing and KO Studio Art and Tattoo is doing the history of the spray gun for paint. In addition, there will be gardens and sculptures (flat boards) on display in the exhibit hall.”

For those interested in seeing how the sculpture exhibit process works, the Citrus Fair Board has you covered. They’ll be building one during the fair.”

“It’s a great opportunity for fair guests to learn about building a sculpture and even try their hand at bunting and wiring oranges,” Young said.

Butler Amusements will be back at the fair for the 41st year. The company will be providing a host of rides, including the Super Shot Drop Tower, the Zipper and more. There will also be family-friendly rides, like the classic tea cups, a funhouse and a lollipop-themed swing.

“We have a truly dedicated staff, board and many volunteers that put the fair together,” Young added. “I’m looking forward to seeing all of our hard work come to fruition.”

Pre-fair tickets are available at the Citrus Fair Administration Office and the box office is open from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pre-fair tickets are $22 for a general season pass, $12 for a senior (age 63 and up) season pass or youth season pass (kids age 12 or under), $8 for general fair admission and $5 for senior and child fair admission.

To find out more information about the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, visit cloverdalecitrusfair.org.

A complete fair schedule and program will be published in next week’s Reveille.

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