• What: Mother Lode Fair.

• When: Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday, noon to 11 p.m.

• Where: Mother Lode Fairgrounds, 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora.

• Cost at the gate: $10 adults, $5 children ages 6 to 12, free for children 5 and younger.

Information: (209) 532-7428, motherlodefair.org

The 79th annual Mother Lode Fair, with a theme of “Mining and Mountains,” will be held Friday through Sunday at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in downtown Sonora.

The fair kicks off with the arrival of the Budweiser Clydesdales from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday.

Country music will be presented in the arena on Friday night. Toree McGee — who describes her music as a blend of “Woodstock rock ‘n’ roll and sparkly country” — performs at 5 p.m. followed by the California Cowboys at 7:30 p.m. and Jackson Michelson at 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the show are $5.

Music on Saturday includes Rockin’ Rick and The Rhythm Wranglers at 5:30 p.m., RockSlide at 7:30 p.m., and Dossi on the Rocks at 9:30 p.m. All of those performances are on the Sonora Stage.

Also on the Sonora Stage, performers Sunday include the Dusty Roads Band at 5:30 p.m. and Cottonwood Creek at 7:30 p.m. Twain Harte-based Little Fuller Band will close out the entertainment at 9:30 p.m.

Additionally, “The Voice of the Mother Lode Fair,” a singing contest in the style of TV’s “The Voice,” will be held at 8 p.m. each night on the Muir Stage.

Other activities at the fair include carnival rides, games, livestock auctions, arts and craft vendors, food, a beer garden, and hundreds of exhibitors showcasing everything from photography to homemade jam.

Returning mainstays include the livestock auction at 5 p.m. Saturday and the small livestock auction at 2 p.m. Sunday in addition to truck and tractor pulls at 7 p.m. Saturday and a destruction derby at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Fair organizers are also resurrecting the diaper derby and other contests aimed at children, which will be held on the John Muir Lawn on Sunday afternoon.

In keeping with the theme of “Mining and Mountains,” Columbia State Historic Park docents and volunteers are planning to have a tent area near the entrance.

The Tuolumne County Arts Alliance’s new program, “Radio KAAD — Art At (the) Dome,” will be set up in the Creekside Building. Those involved with the project are encouraging members of the public to stop by and let them know what people would like to hear on the radio.

Additionally, Mountain Youth and Community Theatre students will perform a preview of their upcoming “Legally Blonde Jr.” musical at 2 p.m. Friday.

Pre-sale admission tickets for $7.50 per person and $15 carnival wristbands ($25 at the fair) are offered through Thursday. They can be purchased at either Save Mart location in Sonora.

Gate admission is $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 children ages 6 to 12. Promotions are being offered Friday, including free admission for military veterans from noon to midnight and a reduced price of $5 for teens from noon until 6 p.m. Arena events are also $5.

Parking is limited at the fairgrounds so those looking to avoid the crowds can also park at The Junction shopping center in East Sonora, where a Tuolumne County Transit trolley will shuttle people to and from the fairgrounds. The free service is offered on the hour from 6 to 11:30 p.m. Friday; noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. The designated pickup and dropoff location is next to T.J. Maxx. For more information, call (209) 532-0404.

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