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Tidewater Southern rolling again at fair
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Del Hoffman of the Tidewater Southern Railway Historical Society eagerly awaited the return of the San Joaquin County Fair. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin

STOCKTON —  It’s been two long years for Del Hoffman since the last San Joaquin County Fair.
The Manteca resident was ready Wednesday for opening day of this revamped five-day event at the fairgrounds.
For the past 26 years, Hoffman and others from the Tidewater Southern Railway Historical Society have worked to expand and transform the small scale railroad display to what it is today.
Included is a “select compressed” replica landmark structures of Stockton, Manteca and Modesto circa 1930s.
“We took the big (towns) and made them small,” said Hoffman, who looked forward to seeing some familiar faces at the fair.
They were the ones who stopped by with their children in the 2,400-square-foot alcove in Building No. 1 — that’s what been the permanent home of the Tidewater group since 1992.
“I remember seeing so many excited faces drop by over the years,” said Hoffman, who is thankful for the return of the fair.
Kelly Olds, who is the CEO of the fair, provided an open house prior to the 5 p.m. opening to the public.
He was thrilled with some of the new attractions such as Food Truck Alley. “We only have three trucks going since we’re expecting a slow day,” Olds said.
He’s aware of the popularity of food trucks these days along with wine tasting and craft beers — both were available in Building No. 6.
The Midway rides and carnival were also set up and ready to go.
Fairgoers can visit the familiar food booths as well as a few interesting ones.
Entertainment includes Kevin Keith of Wild About Monkeys based in Vallejo.
He brought along his exotic animals led by his orangutan.
The BMX Freestyle Team and the K9 Kings Dog Show also promises to thrill the audience.
Live on the main stage are Jackson Michelson, Journey Unauthorized, and Salute to Foreigner.
The fair is a open today is through his Sunday, from noon to 11 p.m.
Cost is $10 adults, $5 kids 6 through 12, free for children 5 and under, $7 for seniors, military and student with ID.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail