Luke Taylor, 5, enjoys a ride on the Eurobungy trampoline at Paradise of Fun at the San Benito County Fair Sept. 29. Photo: Tarmo Hannula

San Benito County launched its 100th County Fair Friday under mildly warm skies mixed with the aroma of garlic fries, bacon burgers, deep fried artichokes, nachos and kettle corn.

At noon sharp the gates at Bolado Park Event Center in Tres Pinos swung open and visitors were swift to grab a taste and get a feel of this year’s offerings.

Within minutes a bunch of grade school girls gathered at the patio stage as Twinkle Time plugged in and delivered their upbeat, high energy bilingual pop-rock and hip hop tunes. Twinkle’s colorful antics swept her young audience into dancing along and warming up for the fair.

“So far, everything is going well and we’re happy to get the fair up and running,” said Fair CEO/Manager Dara Tobias. “We’re excited to kick off this historical, milestone event—for the 100th time.”

Katie Marzullo, fair spokeswoman, called the three day event “100 Fairs of Fun.”

“We have all the fair favorites, including Twinkle Time, magic shows, livestock and produce auctions, live music, carnival rides, sweet and savory treats, Truck Pulls, Barnyard Buddies (including a ‘name the calf’ contest), a chili pepper eating contest and much more,” Marzullo said.

Twinkle Time dazzles the crowds with their pop culture stage performance at the San Benito County Fair Sept. 29. Photo: Tarmo Hannula

Hunter Andrade of Santa Ana said he was pleased to be able to show his cow, PJ, in the breeding competition.

“I was inspired by my sister to become part of the fair and I’m glad I did,” he said. “She encouraged me to perform the best way that I can. The fair is a great way to meet people, too.”

Nancy Girton said she was working at the San Benito County Library Bookmobile as part of Friends of the Library.

“We’re here to help people of all ages to get excited about books and interested in the library,” she said. “We welcome volunteers and the fair is a great place to get the word out.”

Hunter Andrade of Santa Ana leads his cow, PJ, out of a breeding competition Friday at the San Benito County Fair on Sept. 29. Photo: Tarmo Hannula

Janae Thomas, marketing representative, had fun wearing a road cone on her head as part of the effort to draw attention to the Graniterock table.

“There’s  a lot of history behind Graniterock,” she said. “We’re here to share that and let people know about the company. We’re also promoting the upcoming Rock & Run event coming October 15. Participants get to tour the 123-year-old A.R. Wilson Quarry in Aromas. It’s pretty exciting.” 

The event includes a 10k run and a 5k walk/run. For information, call 768-2355 or visit [email protected].

The Fair continues Sunday. For information, visit:

Madison Mullins grooms her Jersy dairy cow, Clairabell. Photo: Tarmo Hannula
Janae Thomas, marketing representative with Graniterock wears a road cone hat to draw attention to the Graniterock table Sept. 29. Photo: Tarmo Hannula
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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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