Very few people alive today can remember a time when the Stanislaus County Fair wasn’t around. The 10-day summer festival began humbly in 1911 as the Melon Carnival, but expanded throughout the decades in length and notoriety, with California recognizing its Arch Gate as a State Point of Historical Interest in 1999.
The fair’s headlining acts complement entertainment on secondary stages, whose performances range from community square dancing shows to canine daredevil acts. Meanwhile in the carnival area, visitors shoot down sudden rollercoaster drops and spin in dizzying circles, as tots frolic on size-appropriate kiddie rides and plot ways to turn their classrooms into zero-gravity chambers. Broncos attempt to buck riders to the ground in the rodeo, whereas those who prefer mechanical steeds can check out monster-truck shows, motocross contests, and motorcycle daredevils.
At E&M Auto Service, technicians aim to keep cars and trucks on the road with oil changes, air-filter replacements, and brake checks. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic technology, they detect problems relating to the everyday use of automobiles, attempting to ensure that while driving, hoses don't wear out, belts don't snap, and wheels don't fall off and into the arms of the nearest strongman. They also provide a complimentary email-reminder service, letting drivers know when they are due for routine maintenance.
Despite what its modest name suggests, Simply Hair Salon & Beauty Supply does a lot more than hair. Sure, their stylists can sculpt a beautiful and personalized haircut, straighten curls with keratin, or add some extra dimension with highlights. But the team also boasts aestheticians who revitalize skin with facials, sculpt eyebrows, and turn nails into tiny pieces of art during mani-pedis. Simply Hair's roster of most valuable players also includes a particular inanimate object: candles. When placed in the ear and lit—a process appropriately known as ear candling—they can potentially treat ear problems and annoying issues, such as allergies or a weird voice that only seems to speak during the finale of TV shows. On special occasions, the salon opens its doors to host stylish events. In the past, this has included showcasing the fashionable jeans of Lavender Blues and Vault Denim.
Poochie Couture Dog Boutique outfits male and female pups with trendy and adorable canine couture ranging from sweaters and bejeweled collars to tutus and party hats. The store also carries brand-name grooming products to beautify their fur, purses and carriers to transport them comfortably, and tasty treats to reward them for politely nodding at the mailman.
At Yogolicious, guests take dessert cravings into their own hands. They swirl frozen yogurt or Italian-style gelato into cups, selecting exactly the right amount before adorning the twisted peaks with combinations of more than 50 toppings. Fresh fruit, cereals, nuts, and syrups sit atop frozen treats, with dollops of whipped cream to crown the entire dessert.
Color Me Mine Modesto’s studio puts paintbrushes and pottery in the hands of customers old and young. Party guests or budding Toyozo Arakawas follow four easy steps to craft beautifully painted ceramics, first choosing a ceramic piece from a selection of hundreds of seasonally changing items. After charting out a desired design from their imaginations or Color Me Mine's technique sheets, painters will select an underglaze from a cast of more than 50 colors, then apply paint with the focus of a peregrine falcon occupied by a Rockwellian spirit. Color Me Mine handles all kiln-firing work, allowing clients to take home their final products within five to seven days.