SALINAS VALLEY – The Salinas Valley Fair 2021 took place in a changed format due to the health guidelines of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it was the first time since 2019 that trade fair visitors were able to show animals or personally pick up carnival food.

This year’s animal evaluation was divided into two parts. Pigs were brought in on May 11th and judged on May 12th, and then sheep, goats and beef were brought in on May 14th and judged on May 15th.

The extended, multi-day offer was accompanied by a pop-up carnival food event, at which several vendors sold snacks every day, as well as a list of evening films and entertainment.

This was a shift back to a personal fair after last year’s event had to be completely canceled due to the pandemic.

The expanded, multi-day offer of the Salinas Valley Fair 2021 was accompanied by a pop-up carnival food event, at which several vendors sold snacks every day. (Sean Roney / Staff)

“Fair food was all week,” said Lauren Hamilton, interim CEO of the fair. “It was a very popular event. You enjoyed having a fair feeling without having the fair here. “

Of the entertainment, Hamilton said the Sol Treasures Disney drive-in concert drew an audience of 54 cars and the drive-in theater films showed an estimated 15 to 20 cars per night.

However, the animal rating was lower than in previous years.

“In a normal year we are about 1,000 animals, but this year we are 415 animals,” said Hamilton.

Local youth exhibitors display their lambs on May 15 at the Topo Ranch Center at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City. (Sean Roney / Staff)

Although Hamilton had fewer animals than typical years and was divided into two main shows, she received positive feedback from parents. She felt how the many hours her staff had put into making sure the show ran and was approved was noticed by the families.

“Every year they look forward to the King City Show and everyone was super grateful,” said Hamilton. “You understand that May is here and that summer begins at the beginning of the fair. It was a disappointing year not to have the show last year. “

The sense of community of a fair atmosphere is one aspect that Hamilton considers important. Whether people come in for something to eat or to talk to friends, there is a festive atmosphere to enjoy.

Looking ahead, the county cannot predict approval of plans and state health contracts, but Hamilton said plans for an autumn carnival are in the works. As long as health guidelines allow such an event, the exhibition site staff will work to hold this event later in the year.

“It’s a great place for family fun and it’s very easy and we enjoy putting it together for everyone,” said Hamilton.

Beef will be used for judging by youth exhibitors at the Rava Equestrian Center as part of the Salinas Valley Fair 2021’s revised format on May 15th. (Sean Roney / Staff)