Opening night of the Merced County Spring Fair will kick off with a roar in the grandstand, when the gates open for motocross and quad racing.
This long-standing fair tradition is promoted by AMP/GFI Racing, with a mission to provide the best in motocross racing. Gates open at 1:30 p.m., and the heats and qualifiers begin at 4. The main event will hit the track at 7 p.m.
Motocross races include categories for riders age 7 and under and all the way to senior citizens. Racers may include all family members, as classes are split by gender, age and ability.
Another sellout crowd is expected Sunday night as the ground-pounding Valley Tractor Pullers take to the grandstand arena. This 7 p.m. show will include stock tractors, antique tractors and 4-by-4 pickups pulling weighted sleds.
Last year, more than 100 tractors and pickups demonstrated their pulling power, moving up to 38,000 pounds total. This year, Valley Tractor Pullers spokesman Kelly Luth expects to see everything from 3,500-pound antique tractors to brand-new 4-by-4 pickups. There will be classes for extreme diesel pickups; 8,000-pound smoke-belching superstocks and smaller restored antique tractors.
Valley Tractor Pullers is an all-volunteer club, with members doing everything from hooking up tractors to moving sleds into place. Many of them also compete. The contest is expected to bring in tractors from up and down the Central Valley.