Special to the Village News
If you think you've missed out on carnival games, wild rides, great music and nostalgic foods from a real, old-fashioned country fair, it's not too late; just make plans to attend the Ramona Country Fair.
The Ramona Chamber of Commerce is presenting the Ramona Country Fair from Friday, July 29, to Sunday, July 31.
The three-day event features a midway of carnival rides, games and prizes, vendors, award-winning winds, live music and a variety of entertainment.
More than 60 craft and commercial vendors and 13 food vendors will be hawking their wares. A variety of beers, including craft and high-end beers will be available, as well as award-winning wines from local wineries.
The event kicks off Thursday, July 28, with a Cheers to the Valley Wine Festival from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pavilion. Chance Perez will be performing during the event. More than 10 local wineries will be taking part; appetizers are included. $50 per person; must RSVP to attend.
Friday, July 29, the gates open at 4 p.m. In a warm-up for Saturday, the Hole in the Wall Gang, the Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society and other equestrian groups will perform their practice sessions at 6 p.m. Several of the groups have adventure zones with living history and re-enactments set up. There are also plenty of activities for the youngsters to enjoy.
Amusement rides, carnival games and food and craft vendors will be open from 5 to 11 p.m.
Friday's music groups have a classic rock and rock theme. Craigsband will be onstage from 7 to 8:30 p.m., with their mix of 60s and 70s classic rock. Headliner Noise Pollution, an AC/DC tribute band, will perform from 9 to 11 p.m..
Saturday, July 30, gates open at 11 a.m .; a Cornhole Tournament will begin prior to the fair opening about 10 a.m. and will continue until mid-afternoon (or until the last round is finished).
New this year will be the Off-road Car Show on July 30. A private run outside of the fairgrounds begins at 8 a.m. and the Car Show on the grounds begins at 11 a.m., with prizes awarded at 4 p.m. All prizes will be People's Choice, first through third, so be sure to vote for your favorites. Buggies, Baja Bugs, pre-runners, Jeeps, etc. are all allowed. Entrance fee is $25. For more information, contact Denny Allen at 760-445-8807.
Saturday night's bands have more of a country theme and are Ramona locals. The Beard and The Bird – the husband and wife team of Jon and Cat Hasz – will hit the stage at 7 p.m., followed by Patrick Howard Trampus performing from 9 to 11 p.m..
Gates open Sunday, July 31, at 11 a.m. The final performance of the equestrian shows will take place. The midway, with all the rides, games and vendors, will be open from noon to 11 p.m.
Ramona native Jason Winters is onstage at 6 p.m .; Steal Dawn closes out the Fair, with their classic rock and roll performance taking place from 8 to 10 p.m.
Tickets for VIP access, with a private bar and catering, will be available for pre-order and on the day of the event. The bar will feature signature drinks and will be located closer to the pavilion and music venues than in the past. For more information, contact the Ramona Chamber.
Fair hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 29; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 30; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 31. The Fair is held at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center, 431 Aqua Lane, Ramona. Admission to the fair is free. A $10 parking donation goes back into the community scholarship fund.
Presale tickets for carnival rides will be available and can be picked up at the Ramona Chamber of Commerce or can be held at Will Call at the fairgrounds. All rides require between 3 and 5 tickets each. Pre-sale and on-site tickets can be mixed for the rides.
Parking passes can be purchased online for a single day or the entire event. Visit RamonaChamber.com/Ramona-Country-Fair/ to purchase.
The Ramona Junior Livestock Fair and Auction will take place at the Fairgrounds beginning Sun., July 24. Local 4-H and FFA members will be competing for blue ribbons and top auction prices after spending their time raising and caring for their livestock.
Organized by the Ramona Junior Fair, the week-long program runs from Sunday, July 24 through Sunday, July 31. For more information on the schedule of events, visit http://www.RamonaJuniorFair.com.
Proceeds from the Country Fair will benefit the Ramona community, including Chamber scholarships to local students, educational grants and support to other Local Events.