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Growling monster trucks bring 2013 Sonoma County Fair to a close

  • (From left) Logan Rodriguez-McCann, 6, Pierce McWilliams, 3, Noah Anderton, 5, and Jake McWilliams, 5, watch as trucks compete during the monster truck rally on the last day of the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, California on Sunday, August 11, 2013. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa High School graduate Ryan Fraser, 25, remembers as a child hearing the Monster Trucks growl and roar from the little league fields behind the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

On Sunday, he was suited up and standing in the dirt of the fair's Chris Beck Arena getting ready to rev the engine of an ultra-suped-up 1950 Mercury called the MEGAmerc.

"I never thought I'd be doing this in front of my home town," said Fraser, now of Ukiah.

Monster Truck Rally

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The Monster Truck growls and crowd cheers echoed throughout downtown Santa Rosa Sunday as the sun set and the Sonoma County Fair's 16-day run came to a close.

Although the final numbers aren't yet in, fair manager Tawny Tesconi estimated attendance was up about 4 percent this year, even with one day less than last. About 317,000 people came during the fair's 17-day stint in 2012.

At the last day of Sonoma County's 77th fair, themed "Home-Spun Fun," animal stalls had begun to empty, hay bales tossed to the side, yet the people still packed the midway and formed long lines for old timey photographs and Willie Bird turkey legs.

On his father's shoulders, 3-year-old Elliot Poppers of Santa Rosa seemed to think the bright lights and crowds of the midway looked like a parade.

"This was my last chance to take him," said his father Ari Poppers.

Poppers finished up his duties as theater arts technical director with Santa Rosa Junior College for a production Sunday afternoon with just a few hours left to bring his son to the fair.

Behind the lace curtains of the Palm Psychic stand, Theresa Rose of Santa Rosa said that a lot of women this year visited her booth speaking of their drive to be caretakers and inquired about futures in nursing.


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