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San Joaquin showcase runs thru Sunday
Sparkles the Clown was “bubbling” during opening day of the fair.

STOCKTON — The San Joaquin County Fair opened Thursday with new and familiar attractions.

The Tidewater Southern Railroad Club was among the latter, featuring added parts to the small-scaled model train set with tracks traveling along cities such as Modesto, Stockton, and Manteca, circa 1930s to the modern times.

“We’ve been here (at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds) for almost 30 years,” said Brittany Barning, president of the local model train club formerly known as the Manteca Model Train Club.

She’s anticipating seeing more visitors drop in to check out the model train layout with working lights and replicas of the Stockton Hotel as it looks today or long-gone buildings such as Spreckels Sugar plant in Manteca.

Changes to the display have been subtle over the years.

“Everything is a work in progress,” said Barning, who added that current membership is about 30 with close to half being among the active participants.

The SJ Fair has been retooled for its four-day run that ends on Sunday.

CEO Steve Colangelo noted that organizers spent a year trying to make improvements after taking into account feedback from fairgoers from the previous year.

As a result, the fair is now a clean safe place for families and friends to gather and enjoy the assortment of food and beverages along with the various entertainment and activities.

The Youth Science and Technology Lab and art is available to children.

The Midway of Fun coupled with the game booths are always popular among fairgoers.

As for entertainment, Latin Magic opened on the Chase Chevrolet Main Stage with the likes of Gun Powder & Lace, Mondo, Latin Magic, Killer Queens, Journey Re-visited, Heartless, Longtime, Unchained, Violin on Fire, Banda Peligrino, the Mike Torres Band, and Tran Kaso Norteno also on the bill.

Scheduled at PG&E Community Stage include Karen Quest, Hypnotist Darrin Frazier, Break dancers, Ohana Martial Arts, Diamond Dance Studio, Worst Friends Forever, Alexander DJ, Eric Moore and Folklorica.

The fairgrounds are located at 1658 S. Airport Way.

The hours of operation is today from 5 to 11 p.m.,  and Saturday and Sunday, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors (youngsters under age 5 will be admitted for free). Parking per day is $10.

For more information, call 209.466.5041 or log on to