By Chris Furguson
Friday, February 26, the latest edition of the Callifornia Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta will begin with the theme “Discover Treasures Below The Sea.”
The theme is in reference to the fact that much of the Imperial Valley lies below sea level.
This year’s main attractions include several tribute bands at the Granite Construction Grandstand Stage in lieu of a single major act.
Friday will see the Van Halen tribute act known as “Hot For Teacher,” while Saturday will have “Yesterday,” an homage to the Beatles.
Monday will have the High School Madness competition, where local schools will compete in various wacky events to win cash for their school’s ASB organization.
Tuesday will see the local Jimmie Cannon Music Festival, a tribute to the long time El Centro musician.
Wednesday’s Guns & Hoses competition will bring police and fire agencies from all over Imperial County in a competition akin to High School Madness. The popular event comes back after its debut in 2009.
Called one of the hottest acts on the West Coast, Whiskey Dawn, will perform on Thursday at the Grandstand.
All grandstand entertainment during the fair is free with the price of admission.
The fair also has several local bands performing on the Rabobank Center Stage, including The Pink Army, The Companies, Indiginous Peoples, The Mudpuppies, Nick Wells & Big Bad Wolf, Mojo Vibe and Valley Jazz.
The mainstay of the Fair, however, are the livestock.
Kids and young adults from all over the county have spent the past few months raising and caring for animals, all to be judged this weekend for the best in the Valley.
All qualifying and champion animals will then be up for next weekend’s auctions.
For the kids, a traditional midway, full of rides will be available in the back of the fairgrounds, along with games and food vendors.
Inside the Preble Building, a sand sculpting demonstration will take place over the weekends while “mermaid” races and various contests will be judged. Additionally, a “Kid’s Treasure Hunt” will take place.
At the Calico Stage at the front of the Fair, the IV Idol competition will continue for the sixth straight year while many local acts will take to the stage throughout the week.
Another mainstay of the Fair is the various cooking competitions, including salsas, ice cream, sandwiches and Italian dishes.
Tickets for fair admission are $8 for adults, $5 for children and $6 for seniors age 60 and over. Children under five years of age are free.