It’s that time of year again! The Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival kicks off on Friday at 4 p.m., with a variety of activities for young and old, alike.

Collective Soul and the Gin Blossoms get the party started with their 7:30 p.m. concert, but if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other activities in which to engage. There’s also other music to be had — listen to everything from a Bon Jovi tribute band, to REO Speedwagon, Travis Tritt, Big & Rich and Christian Nodal. There are some comedy acts lined up that are already sold out, so hopefully you bought your tickets early!

This year’s theme is “Sweet Delights and Carnival Lights.” It’s the Fair’s 81st anniversary, so it’s safe to say it’s an Antelope Valley tradition. In fact, folks look forward to certain events at the Fair like the demolition derby, the rural olympics and the monster truck show.

Another big draw is the food. You can’t mention the AV Fair without conjuring images of the Emblem Club tacos and the well-loved Sioux burgers, in fact, some folks get a season pass just for the food.

Unfortunately this year, they’ll have to do with out the Emblem Club tacos because they are sitting this one out and hope to be back next year. But don’t fret, you’re bound to find all your other favorite gastronomic indulgences.

In addition to the entertainment and great food, you’ll find games like bocce ball and corn hole in The Backyard, as well as livestock shows, various demonstrations, a hypnotist and a carnival. There will also be vendors and informational booths. In fact, the AV Press will have a booth at the Fair, so stop by and say hi to Publisher Mike McMullin, Editor Jennifer A. Garcia, Columnist Brian Golden and “Hotspot of the week” writer Donna Giddens.

Donna will be there from 6-8 p.m., Aug. 16; Jennifer will be there from 4-6 p.m., Aug. 17; Mike will be there from 4-6 p.m., Aug. 19 and you can catch Brian from 5-8 p.m., Aug. 20.

Continuing traditions like the Fair is important to everyone in the Antelope Valley. It gives newcomers and old timers something to share in and enjoy. Not to mention, it’s a way to keep that connection with the AV’s agricultural past, despite the growth the Valley is experiencing.

What better way to meet new people and maybe run into some you haven’t seen in a while? The Fair is a place to gather and leave all the stress of everyday life behind. Get a taste of country living and enjoy some good food, unique entertainment and great company! And don’t forget to pick up the AV Fair special section, which has a complete list of daily activities and some great features on Fair volunteers and others who have made a difference.

It was in your Wednesday paper, but if you missed it, stop by the AV Press office and pick one up. Or you can grab one at the Fair.

We hope to see you at the Antelope Valley Fair!

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