By Maureen Robertson
Organizers of the 43rd Annual Ramona Country Fair are putting more pizzazz and participation in what’s been called The Four Best Days of Summer.
Slated for July 25 through 28, this year’s fair promises contests galore in addition to carnival rides from Christiansen Amusements, the 7th Annual Ramona Idol Contest, rows of vendors, lots of traditional fair food, live entertainment and a Beer & Wine Garden.
The fair kicks off next Thursday, July 25, from 5 to 11 p.m. Each day after that has a theme. Friday is Foto Friday, next is Home Sweet Home Saturday and then it’s Family Day. Admission is free and all activities will be at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center, 421 Aqua Lane.
Presented by Ramona Chamber of Commerce, the 2013 fair is full of contests: photo, jams, jellies, honey, frozen T-shirt, country dance and pie eating — take your pick, or enter them all if you’d like. There are no contest entry fees.
Entries in the Photography Contest will be accepted at the chamber office, 960 Main St., until Wednesday, July 24, at 4 p.m. Photos must be 8 inches by 10 inches, unframed. Name and age of the photographer should be on the back of the photo, and one entry per person will be accepted.
There are four categories — Nature, People, Animals and Architecture — and four age groups — 10 and younger, 11 to 14, 15 to 17 and Adult.
Winners will be announced on Foto Friday, July 26, at 5:15 p.m. in the ROCC Pavilion, where the photographs will be displayed. First-, second- and third-place winners in each age category will receive ribbons.
Photos may be picked up by 4 p.m. on July 30 at the chamber office.
The Home Sweet Home Jam, Jelly and Honey Contest will be on Saturday, July 27. Bring your best jam, jelly or honey to the pavilion area by 9 a.m. that day. Judging will take place at noon.
Entrants are to label each entry with their name, type of entry and flavor. First-, second- and third-place ribbons will go to the top three overall. Winners will be announced at 4 p.m. at the pavilion.
The Saturday Night Country Dancing Contest will be July 27 at 8:30. Winners will receive a glitter ball trophy and an overnight stay with breakfast for two at San Vicente Resort. Sponsoring the dance contest prizes are Realtor Sally Westbrook and San Vicente Resort.
Live music is planned July 26, 27 and 28, with Classic Buzz playing at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, The Nobles at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Whiskey Ridge at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, and the Rattlesnake Creek Bluegrass String Band before winners in the Ramona Idol Contest are announced at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Frozen T-shirt contests will be at 2 p.m. July 27 and 3 p.m. July 28.
Family Day on Sunday also features a pie eating contest at 2 p.m., face painting and Scout-A-Rama from noon to 4 p.m., Mexican Folklore at 1 p.m. and a Mariachi band.
Advance carnival ride tickets good for unlimited rides for specific times are available in the chamber office and in Albertsons. Tickets purchased in advance are $12 for July 25 or July 26 from 5 to 10 p.m. and $15 for July 27 or July 28 from 1 to 7 p.m.
The fair is open from 5 to 11 p.m. July 25 and 26, from noon to 11 p.m. July 27 and from noon to 10 p.m. July 28.
For more information, call the chamber at 760-789-1311 or see www.ramonachamber.com.