Merced County Fair handbooks now online

The 2014 Merced County Fair Exhibitor’s Handbook is now available at www.mercedcountyfair .com.

The guide has been split into two versions – a booklet for junior exhibitors up to 19 and another for adults 20 and older. Both versions include entry forms and are available on the website.

Once on the site, scroll over the tab “fair guide” and click on “Exhibitor’s Handbook & Entry Forms.” The forms can be downloaded, filled out and mailed or taken to the fairgrounds office, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Exhibitors can also submit entries online through a link on the “Exhibitor’s Handbook” Web page. There is a $2 fee per exhibitor to set up an account for submission.

Entry fees have been eliminated in many still exhibit categories, from home arts to photography, according to a fair press release.

The website also allows visitors to sign up for email alerts about exhibitor deadlines.

A limited number of copies of both exhibitor handbooks, including forms, are also available at the fair office. Fair staff is available to assist anyone with the entry forms. Office hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The handbooks include hundreds of competitions. Some new contests include amateur beer-making and a ribs taste test.

Another new contest is “farm junk” sculpture. The idea is to create a piece of art from old farm hardware, tractor parts or whatever else might be lying around unused in a barn.

Exhibitors can also choose this year to sell their art. More information on sales is available at the fair’s website or office.

The deadline to submit entry forms is May 8. The 123rd fair’s theme is “Saluting Our Farmers & Ranchers.” The fair runs June 11-15.

For more information, call the fair office at (209) 722-1507 or email