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Admission free SJ County Fair opens today
pic fair-sheep-1a
Dairy goats were inspected upon arrival Wednesday at the San Joaquin County Fair livestock area. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

• WHAT: San Joaquin County Fair
• WHERE: 1658 South Airport Way, Stockton
• WHEN: Sept. 20-30, each week Thursday through Sunday, opens daily at noon with buildings open until 10 p.m. and the Midway until midnight.  Exhibit and livestock hours are noon until 10 p.m. Horseracing post time is 1:15 p.m. daily.
• COST: Admission free, parking is $10
• MORE INFO: Go to or call the Fair office at 209-466-5041.

STOCKTON – Animals were herded into the San Joaquin County Fair on Wednesday.

In this case, dairy goats were ushered off trailers one at a time. Each animal was closely inspected by a veterinarian, who made sure no infectious diseases were being brought into the livestock area, according to Erin Healy.

She’s the Dairy Goat Barn chair and an officer for the San Joaquin 4-H Council. Her mother is Kathi Thompson of Manteca.

Healy is gearing up for another year of students from the various 4-H and Future Farmers of America groups showing off their livestock at the admission-free fair.

The SJC Fair is considered one of the premiere events of Northern California, and begins today and runs through Sept. 30. Celebrating its 152nd year, fair organizers were able to once again secure corporate sponsorships in order to provide the free access (parking is $10).

Fairgoers can once again enjoy horse racing – or eight days of wagering on the ponies – along with exhibits, midway rides, and live entertainment.

The main stage welcomes Jerrod Niemann today at 8 p.m. and Blue Oyster Cult next Thursday (Sept. 27). In between are Lynyrd Skynyrd (Nuthin Fancy, Sept. 21), ZZ Top (Trez Equis, Sept. 22), Santana (Caravanserai, Sept. 28), and Van Halen (Fan Halen, Sept. 29) tribute bands.

Several local performers will appear on the Community Stage. Included are Jim Anderson and the Rebels, the Manteca Senior Center Steppers, Manteca Youth Focus, GK Music, and the youth rock group, Zephyr, to name a few.

Meanwhile, Healy said the move of the fair from mid June to mid September has been a big adjustment for everyone involved.

“My daughter (Emily) had to go with a different feeding program for her animals,” she said.

The younger Healy raises sheep and a dairy goat for the Tracy FFA.

Erin Healy believes some of the livestock could be a little bit heftier since the last SJC Fair was some 15 months ago.

“We’ve all had to shift our schedules,” she said.

For more information, log on to the SJC Fair website at