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2016 Press Releases


As fair officials tally the final numbers of the 80th edition of the Monterey County Fair, there is overwhelming evidence of the success of the celebration.   “The celebration started a day early with the ribbon cutting of the first phase of the new livestock barn project that our Heritage Foundation embarked upon this spring”, stated CEO Kelly Violini.  “With an outpouring of support from our agriculture partners and industry sponsors, the Monterey County Fair was able to share our 80th anniversary with our fairgoers.  A winning combination of fun, family, and affordable experiences contributed to the increase in annual paid attendance numbers. We modified the Fair program to include a new interactive, free, educational activity for kids, Mind Works, which proved to entertain families and lengthen the fairgoers stay.

Just for the Record
Creating memorable fair experiences for the whole family was a top priority at this year’s event.  The Monterey County Fair hosted 911 school tour participants which is an increase of 65% from previous years.  Newly added Veterans and Military Day Pancake breakfast fed 130 veterans and their guests.    And the best deal on the fairgrounds, the Home Arts Department Cake and Coffee sales, served 1,062 slices of sweetness to fairgoers.

Over 80,000 people visited the MCF for a 7.6% increase in paid gate admission.  The addition of the second Rodeo performance on Sunday contributed to an 80% increase in rodeo ticket sales. The junior livestock auction sold 197 head and grossed $467,790 for local 4-H and FFA exhibitors.  “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the support of the community for the junior livestock exhibitors and the collaboration of donors for the  Heritage Foundation Hog that  grossed $48,000”, noted Kelly Violini, CEO.  “We really focused this year on taking what works for our fairgoer and improving those experiences.  Adjusting the rodeo performance schedule is a great example of listening to our consumer’s needs and increasing our numbers.  Ending this year’s run on such a high note of family, tradition and agriculture makes all the hard work worthwhile.”  

The 2017 Monterey County Fair will celebrate the Summer of Love and run August 30-September 4, 2017. For further information please refer to or call the main office at (831) 372-5863.


JUNE 29, 2016, MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA ­ The Monterey County Fair will open the 80th annual concert series with multi Grammy winning, Asleep at the Wheel on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.  Ray Benson founded Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia 46 years ago. Now based in Austin, the band holds 10 Grammy awards, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. The Grammy Award-winning Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys is the band’s most recent release (2015) and marks their third full-length Bob Wills tribute album. Featuring 22 acclaimed collaborations, the all-star lineup includes legends such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and George Strait and newcomers like The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show and many other fine talents.

Asleep at the Wheel is bringing a fresh look and sound into 2016. Now traveling as an 8-piece band, recent additions Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin) and Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals) have instilled a newfound energy and their own unique style within the band. Between those Texas Twin Fiddles and Boogie Piano, you can bet you’ll be dancin’ down the aisles and swingin’ all night long when the Wheel rolls into town!

Headlining acts rounding out the entertainment the 2016 roster include Journey Revisited, War, and Shane Dwight Band. Concerts are nightly starting at 7:30pm and always FREE with paid fair admission.

The Monterey County Fair will run from Wednesday, August 31 – Monday, September 5, 2016 and Celebrate 80 Years of Fair Fun. For further information, please refer to or call the main office at (831) 372-5863.

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