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.
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.
"People seem to be healthier in mind, body and spirit," Rose said.
Rose, daughter of legendary local psychic Madame Rachel, said her family has run a booth at the fair for 39 years and she said each year the essential essence is the same.
"It's a fair, people come to have a good time, that never changes," Rose said.
Around the corner, Joel Fleck, 25, of Sebastopol sat on the kitchen counter of his 150-square-foot house as the last rush of visitors filed inside to ogle his tiny house.
"I sit here and they roll in," Fleck said.
Fleck said his home's oak floors weathered hundreds of daily visitors just fine. But he'll be relieved to end his full-time fair residency and move his tiny, custom-built home back to the serenity of his family's land in Sebastopol. It's time to turn his attention from the fair to his finals at Empire School of Law.
"Thank god, and you can quote me," Fleck said of the fair's closing.
Back at Chris Beck Arena, Kylie McNutt, 9, of Santa Rosa and her cousin Adin Primrose, 12, of Santa Rosa ran up to Fraser and asked him to autograph their tickets.
McNutt said she's a huge fan of Monster Trucks because of "their ability to go over cars and crush them, because no other cars can do that," McNutt said.
The announcer called for people to take to their seats, and the drivers climbed into their massive rides.