By Regina Elling
Known as the “Best Days of Summer,” the Ramona Country Fair is an event for those looking for a real, old-fashioned country fair. And the celebration promises to be extra special—the Fair is celebrating its 50th year.
The Ramona Chamber of Commerce is presenting the Ramona Country Fair from Friday, July 30 to Sunday, August 1. Rodeo Grounds/Outdoor Community Center Ramona, CA 92065
“The Ramona Country Fair is an old-fashioned country fair showcasing the best Ramona has to offer,” said Stephanie Macdonald, Ramona Chamber member and Ramona Country Fair chair.
The Country Fair was set to celebrate its 50th anniversary last year, but it was canceled due to COVID-19 regulations.
“After the events of the past couple of years, this is a way to get the community back out there safely in a family-friendly, fun environment,” Macdonald said. “We really want this be something we are able to give our town.”
The three-day event will feature a midway of carnival rides, games and prizes, numerous food and craft vendors, award-winning wines, live music and entertainment.
Attractions this year include many returning favorites, such as the Home Sweet Home competition for best homemade jams, jellies, deserts, breads, muffins and more; a community Art Contest, amusement rides, carnival games, Medieval and Renaissance performances by the Adrian Empire, Sam’s Posse, The Hole in the Wall Gang, the Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society, a Western show, Mutton Busting and Barrel Racing.
New events include a Cornhole Competition Tournament for cash prizes, T-Rex races, and a Cowboy Challenge.
The schedule continues to evolve as more events are added.
The event kicks off on Thursday, July 29, with a Cheers to the Valley Wine Tasting from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ashley E. Norton will be providing an acoustic musical performance during the tasting.
Friday’s Opening Ceremony at 5 p.m. features local Rodeo Queens. There will be barrel racing and mutton busting. In a warm-up for Saturday, the Hole in the Wall Gang and the Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society will perform. Amusement rides and carnival games will be open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Simple Man, a Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band, holds the stage from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. The Community Art Contest will also be held.
Saturday’s events include Home Sweet Home, and amusement rides and carnival games from noon till 11 p.m. Check-in for the Cornhole Tournament is at 10:30 am., with the games beginning at 11:30 a.m. Western riding events continue, with barrel racing, mutton busting and shows by The Hole in the Wall Gang and the Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society. Medieval and Renaissance re-creations by the Adrian Empire will also be held. Live music will be performed by the Patrick Howard Trampus Band from 7:30 p.m. -10:30 p.m. There will also be T-Rex races and a Frozen T-shirt contest, as well as the various food and craft vendors.
Sunday’s events include Medieval and Renaissance re-creations by The Adrian Empire; Sam’s Posse and a Cowboy Challenge (sign-in at 11 a.m., start time after Sam’s Posse around noon). T-Rex races and a Frozen T-shirt contest will be held, as well as food and craft vendors. Amusement rides and carnival games are open from noon till 9 p.m. Live music from Farm Truck takes place from 3 till 6 p.m.
Fair hours are: noon to 11 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The Fair is held at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center, 431 Aqua Lane, Ramona.
Admission to the fair is free. A parking donation fee of $10 goes back into the community scholarship fund.
Fair goers also can experience the 50th year of the Ramona Junior Livestock Fair and Auction. Local 4-H and FFA members will compete for blue ribbons after raising and caring for their prized livestock. The week-long livestock program organized by the Ramona Junior Fair runs from July 24 to August 1.
“This is one of the Chamber’s biggest annual fundraisers and all the proceeds go directly back into Ramona, for the good of the community,” Macdonald said. “It’s truly a community effort, and it’s all done at the Chamber on a volunteer basis. It takes a town to get it all done.”
The Ramona Country Fair is a COVID compliant event. Protocols will be in effect and all participants are asked to follow the current County guidelines for the dates of the Fair.
Proceeds from the Fair will benefit the Ramona community, including Chamber scholarships to Ramona students, educational grants and support to other local events promoting Ramona.