MONTEREY, Calif.-- On August 14 the Monterey County Fair held a special Military Day as a way of recognizing the important contribution of the men and women of the armed forces. All those with valid active military ID, along with their dependents, were admitted free and offered discounted ride passes.

A Flag Raising Ceremony was held at 11:30 a.m. to kick off the day's activities. Attendees included Col. David Smarsh, chief of staff Naval Postgraduate School; Col. Darcy Brewer, Presidio of Monterey garrison commander; Lt. Col. Christopher Watrud, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) chief of staff; and Lt. j.g. John Suckow, executive officer, Coast Guard Station Monterey. The flag was raised by police cadets from Porterville, Calif. and Tillamok, Ore.

Those in attendance got to sample some of the many attractions that this year's fair offered including a night time concert by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. But for many of the younger fairgoers the biggest draw seemed to be the multitude of carnival-style rides and game booths that lined the 22-acre event site. This year's rides included the Zipper, a free swinging gondola that spins and turns while revolving from a tower, and the Cliff Hanger that lifts riders 30-feet in the air and allows them to soar through the sky. Also present was the Century Wheel, the largest wheel ever to set up at the Fairgrounds.

"It's all about the rides," said Seaman Patrick Martzen, a DLIFLC student."I just visited the hypnotist, went on some great rides and now I am relaxing by sampling some the great sarsaparilla."

Along with the popular Kiddy and Adult Carnival, there were exhibits in the Ag Building, Visual Arts Building and Home Ec Building, and a wide array of fishing and ocean exhibits in Maritime Hall. Many local community acts also performed for fairgoers, from belly dancers to the Monterey Symphony Brass Quintet.

Airman Joshua Baker used the occasion to get out of the house with his wife and child for some quality family time.

"It means the world to me to be able to come here with my family," said Baker. "It is a nice change of pace to do something different than taking them to (Dennis the Menace) park."

Baker stated that having a Military Day was much appreciated and provided a great opportunity to do something fun that would not break the bank.

"We are loving it and having a great time," Baker said. "We spent a lot of time looking at all the livestock because we used to raise black anguses back home."

The theme for this year's fair was "Reel in the Fun" and for the military service members and families attending Military Day, a fun time was had by all.

Kelly Violini, Fair CEO, stated "We love to see our community come together and have a fabulous time at the Fair!"

This 73rd Annual Monterey County Fair was held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds on August 12-16.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16