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See some warm, fuzzies at county fair

DEL MAR — Nearly 6,000 animals, big, small, chubby, tall, feathered, fluffy, two- and four-legged, make their annual journey to the San Diego County Fair.Check out (and even sometimes touch) the cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats in the Livestock Barn and Barn W every day of the Fair. You can also see the animals competing for the blue ribbon in the show rings. The Dairy Council of California also hosts daily dairy cow-milking and sheep-shearing presentations. From the animal demonstrations, to seeing youth care for their animals, the Livestock Area also features unique farm equipment, animal shows and the Junior Livestock Auction where San Diego County’s young people auction the animals they have meticulously hand-raised during the past year.

From the opening weekend competition that showcased Cotswold (sheep) and pygmy goats to the final days when beef and dairy cattle, goats, and pigs strut their stuff, the livestock area is chock-full of interesting viewing and participation.

Fairgoers can take part in an old-fashioned tradition at the San Diego County Fair; the live auction featuring livestock of all shapes and sizes. Youth 4-H and FFA members will sell their blue-ribbon-winning market animals to the highest bidder, July 1, starting at 10 a.m. The auction is a great way to purchase hand-raised, locally grown beef, lamb, pork, goat, chicken, rabbit, and turkey and support local youth. Many youth use the funds raised to pay for higher education.

Interested buyers can contact the Livestock Office at (858) 792-4283 for more information.

The 2013 San Diego County Fair will run for 24 days through July 4. The fair is closed Mondays, except July 1. Gates open daily at 11 a.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and Monday, July 1; and 10 a.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and Thursday, July 4. Admission is $14 for adults; $8 for ages 6 to 12 and 62 and older; free for ages 5 and younger.