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Tri-County Fair daze coming soon

July 30, 2013

Butler Amusement will again provide carnival entertainment at the Tri-County Fair in Bishop, scheduled to Aug. 29 through Sept. 1. Fair features also include hundreds of exhibitor categories, the Destruction Derby, live music and more. File photo

Sow it, grow it and show it at this year’s Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair, scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 29 through Sunday, Sept. 1.
The Tri-County Fair Board and staff at the fairgrounds have released the 2013 Exhibitor’s Guidebook, available at the Fair office and online at, and have announced the flavors for this year’s contests and the line-up of entertainers for the annual Labor Day weekend event.
This year, the Fair is sponsoring a chili cook-off and cornbread contest as the main course in the food category Friday evening and, for dessert, residents of Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties are asked to cook up their unique take on the classic pumpkin pie for Thursday evening’s annual homebaked pie event.
In addition to the cooking and baking contests, residents are invited to show off their arts and crafts, photos, fruits, veggies, preserves and much, much more. All the information residents need are in this year’s Official Exhibitor’s Guidebook.
Fair Office Manager Rebecca Bragdon said Friday that receiving times for entries have changed, so those planning to submit a Fair entry should pay special attention as they prepare their entries this year.
The deadline to enter is Wednesday, Aug. 17.
In addition to the various exhibitor contests, Bragdon said that each entry category, ranging from photography to fruits and place settings, has a special subcategory for this year’s Fair theme, “Sow It, Grow It and Show It,” which was submitted by Bishop resident Nancy Prange. For information on the special theme categories, Bragdon said residents should check their exhibitor guidebooks.
“We truly believe that competitive exhibits are the most important part of our fair,” states the Fair website. “Each year, thousands of homemade and homegrown items are entered and displayed at the Fair. All citizens of Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties are eligible to compete for ribbons, trophies, cash and other great prizes. There are divisions for adults and kids of all ages and all skill levels … If you can grow it or make it, to the Fair you shall take it!”
In addition to the various entries submitted by residents, Fair officials have lined up four days worth of entertainment, ranging from circus to comedy acts, gun fights, music and more.
Bragdon said a whole host of carnival rides, including the local favorite, the Zipper, and classics like the Century Ferris Wheel and carousel, will be available for kids of all ages all four days of the Fair.
She also said the ever-popular Russell Brothers Family Fun Circus will again greet residents and visitors near the Fair entrance and Skip Banks, AKA, “The Balloon Man” will be returning to the Tri-County Fair this year with a brand-new show.
As always, the hands-on Discovering Science show will be held in the Charles Brown Auditorium and the Future Farmers of America will again host its annual petting zoo.
Young anglers can meet up near the food court over the weekend and join the local Lions Club for its annual Kids Fishing Derby.
Speaking of food, Bragdon said that Fair officials have already signed up a number of vendors for the Fair weekend.
There are also two musical acts, the local Classic Rock band Bon Rompus and out-of-the-area entertainers Mean Gene will be performing live on the MGD stage throughout the weekend.
In the Mike Booth Memorial Arena, Fair officials have scheduled a horse show, hosted by the Eastern Sierra Sliders on Thursday, the popular WGAS Truck Pull on Friday, the local rodeo and “Hell on Hooves X-Treme Bulls and Broncs Tour” on Saturday and the Bishop Volunteer Fire Department Destruction Derby on Sunday.
This year, the Fair has opted out of its annual concert in favor of the horse show. According to Bragdon, a $250,000 reduction in state funding for the Fair means something had to be done to conserve funds. To that end, event organizers shortened the Fair by one day, and enlisted the aid of the Sliders.
“We’ve had horse shows every day of the Fair, but their main show has always been on Monday, when we were cleaning up,” Bragdon said. “We thought this would be a fun way to give them the spotlight.”
Fair tickets go on sale Aug. 24 at the fairgrounds.
Once residents and visitors have paid the Fair admission, most of the entertainment (arena events excluded) is provided free.
“There are free concerts every day, a free circus, free petting zoo, discovering science exhibit, and more,” a press release from the fair states. “We’re real lucky to have a lot of community support as far as sponsors go, so we can bring in such fantastic entertainment.”

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