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Up to 40,000 likely to attend

Posted: June 27, 2008 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 28, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Michale Bowen with her son Donny from Frazier Park enjoys some of the games at the SCV fair on Thursday afternoon.

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From carnival rides to on stage performances and even a series of live animal shows, the Valley Fair opened its gates to the Santa Clarita Valley on Thursday, giving local families an opportunity to relax and have fun.

The fair, which continues through Sunday at the Saugus Speedway, is expected to draw between 30,000 and 40,000 visitors all weekend long and is sponsored by the State of California 51st District Agricultural Association.

By Thursday evening, crowds of families were seen strolling through the fair grounds, munching on cotton candy and kettle corn in between breaks from watching the shows and playing the carnival games.

Connie Reyes of Canyon Country brought her 5-year-old son Nicholas to the fair. While this was her second time at the event, she was happy to bring her son for the first time on Thursday.

"The main reason is for him," she said about what got her interested in attending.

Reyes said they hope to go on a couple of rides, but also watch the performers that dotted the fair grounds.

Catherine Garcia, fair manager, said the weekend event will include live performances from all types of groups, including 1980s music icon Ambrosia on Saturday and country music singer Juice Newton on Sunday.

"We tried to cover every age group and demographic," Garcia said Thursday.

Garcia noted that the fair features a "family fun zone" where families can watch a circus perform, along with an interactive magic show. A "Wild About Monkeys" and "Rainforest and Tiger" display are also set to take place throughout the weekend.

Along with the performances, visitors were able to see different spectacles, like Tom Beimborn's miniature horse, giant pig and gigantic alligator.

The exotic animal exhibitor said he made the trip from Florida to bring his animals to show at the fair.

He called the Valley Fair "family-orientated" and in a "nice location with ample parking."

Karen Fortie of Valencia was one of the dozens of families at the fair on Thursday.

The mother of four said she had been to the fair when it was previously held in Castaic before it was brought to the Saugus Speedway last year.

With children ranging in age from 7 months to 14 years old, Fortie found a good fit at the fair.

"I'm impressed with the variety of free shows," she said.

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