By Pixie Sulser
Ramona’s 41st annual Country Fair Days from Thursday through Sunday provides the community with the “traditional fair they have grown to love, complete with fair food and carnival rides,” said Jason DeLeo, Ramona Chamber of Commerce president and Country Fair Days chairman.
Admission to the fairgrounds at 421 Aqua Lane is free all four days, but there is a $5 parking fee with proceeds split among the nonprofit groups assisting with parking.
Gates open for the Country Fair, presented by Ramona Chamber of Commerce, from 5 to 11 p.m. on July 28 and 29. On Saturday, fair goers may enjoy the festivities from noon until 11 p.m. and on Sunday, July 31, from noon until 10 p.m.
“The fair will have all of things people look forward to every year,“ DeLeo said, “but what is really big this year is the
Ramona Idol. We have really stepped up the whole process.”
According to DeLeo, there has been a huge turnout of contestants at all of the auditions. During each tryout, aspiring singers from 5 years old and up sang for a Golden Ticket, which was their invitation to the main competition held during Ramona Country Fair Days. Contestants competed in one of four age categories: ages 5 to 10, 11 to 15, 16 to 20, or 21 and up. Each audition was judged by a panel of music professionals, including the CEO of a record company, said DeLeo.
“Part of our putting more emphasis on the Ramona Idol competition was having quality judges,” said DeLeo. “The judges were at each tryout, providing constructive criticism and suggestions for the singers.”
Approximately 12 Idol hopefuls from each age category were awarded a Golden Ticket, he said.
Those ticket holders begin their bid to be a Ramona Idol by performing in the quarterfinals starting at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday. Performers chosen to move on to the semifinals will strut their stuff on July 29 at 6:15 p.m., and the Ramona Idol finalists will heat up the stage on Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. A Ramona Idol will be named in each of the four age categories at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday.
The title of Ramona Idol is on the line as well as a host of other prizes including studio time, cash awards, a karaoke machine, gift certificates from local businesses, trophies and medals.
Throughout the four days a variety of homegrown talent will showcase their skills.
“Entertainment includes several local bands, past Ramona Idol winners, dance troupes, and martial arts groups,” said DeLeo. “There is something for everyone.”