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Shasta District Fair Starts Wednesday

The Shasta District Fair begins its annual five-day run on Wednesday, June 16. If you’re planning to attend, and I hope that you are, here’s my most important piece of advice: Buy your tickets in advance. As in right now.

If you buy in advance, you’ll save good money and you’ll bypass that annoying ticket line at the fairgrounds. You may purchase tickets and carnival wristbands online at the fair’s website. But you’ve got to do it no later than today, June 15. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you …

I love a good country fair. The toothless carnies staring luridly at young girls in short shorts. The greasy food that tastes like it might have been leftover from last week’s stop in Colusa. The griping from old-timers about how the fair isn’t what it used to be. The smell in the livestock barns by the fourth day. The smell of the ground underneath The Zipper by 9 o’clock each night.

OK, OK, I’m joking. I really do love a good fair because it brings so many different aspects of life together in one place. This year’s fair entertainment lineup looks like one of the best in years. Some of the highlights include the craziness of freestyle motocross and BMX at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. on Wednesday; the Fabulous Thunderbirds (Jimmie Vaughn is long gone, but Kim Wilson is still fronting the band) at 8 p.m. on Thursday; Clay Walker at 8 o’clock on Friday; the junior livestock auction starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday; stock car racing at 7 p.m. on Saturday; and the demolition derby at 5 on Sunday.

Of course, there is a load of other entertainment, music, commercial and community exhibits and even wine tasting on Thursday evening. Wine tasting at the fair? Where are we, Napa? (Kidding again.) And if you’ve got kids, I know you won’t miss the carnival rides and games.

The fair starts at 11 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday and runs until 11 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 10 p.m. on Sunday. The weather forecast is perfect for the entire five days – sunny and warm, but none of that triple-digit intensity.

Tickets will be available at the gate. But have I mentioned the money you could save by clicking on over to the fair’s website right now? Two bucks off daily admission, $12.50 off a season pass and $7 off a carnival wristband. Check it out. And I’ll look for you at the corn dog booth.

Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and wouldn’t mind buying half a hog this year. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.