Fair to debut farm junk sculpture contest.

The Merced County Fair is kicking off the farm junk sculpture contest, a new competition at the 2014 fair.

The contest is open to individuals or groups living in Merced County. The fair’s slogan is “Saluting Our Farmers and Ranchers,” but sculpture entries don’t have to follow the farming and ranching theme, according to a fair news release.

Entries can be created using any medium, such as part from old tractors, lawnmowers or other machinery, old tools, discarded bike parts or used vehicle parts, old fence or gate pieces or salvaged hardware, whatever cool-looking stuff that’s rusting or collecting dust around the yard, barn, garage or shed. The sculpture can be assembled by welding, nailing, wiring or gluing the pieces together. There are no size requirements or limits, but each entry must be able to stand on its own.

“This contest is going to be a lot of fun,” said Tom Musser, the fair’s chief executive officer, in the statement. “We have so many creative people in our community, we can’t wait to see what they will do.”

The fair will hold a “People’s Choice” awards so fairgoers can vote on their favorite sculptures. Depending on the number of contest entries, the sculptures may be displayed throughout the fairgrounds’ exhibit buildings, and fairgoers will be given maps to locate them and ballots to vote on their favorites.

The first-place winner will receive $300, second place is $150 and third place, $75. The winners will be announced the last evening of the fair, June 15, the release said.

Anyone entering a sculpture in the contest will be able to sell the piece following the guidelines that will be included in the fair’s Exhibitor’s Handbook. The handbook will be available by March.

Although the fair is June 11-15, the contest is being announced now to give people time to plan and create their works of art.

For more information, call (209) 722-1507, fax (209) 722-3773, email, go to, connect on Facebook or follow on Twitter.