World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Kicks Off Friday

The 75th Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma that starts today promises pig races and smiling faces, ugly dogs and corn dogs and “Two Tickets to Paradise.”

This year’s theme is Diamonds Are Forever, in keeping with the annual summer’s event’s diamond anniversary. Today is Kid’s Day and the first day of the All American Pig Races at 7:30 p.m. in the Livestock Area.

Rock singer Eddie Money performs “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Think I’m In Love,” “Take Me Home Tonight” and other hits on the Bud Light Stage at 8 p.m.

Thursday is Seniors Day, Friday is Ag Day, Saturday is Farmers Day and Sunday is Family Day.

Other musical performances through Sunday include country singer Brett Eldredge on Thursday, Creedence Clearwater Revisited on Friday, country singer Uncle Kracker on Saturday and music by Grupo El Tiempo, La Sonora Santanera and La Marka De Tierra Caliente during Sunday’s Fiesta Latina.

The main attraction is the Drooling, Needs Schooling, Gonna Win – No Fooling World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, when pooches from near and far compete for the title at 6 p.m. Friday. Many of the lovable contestants have been rescued from puppy mills and shelters, and the internationally-known contest has raised awareness about dog adoption.

Miss Sonoma County will walk adoptable pets from the Sonoma County Humane Society during the Beauty and the Beast portion of the event.

Fair officials are reminding attendees the ugly dog contest is not about making fun of the dogs, but to show the world the dogs are truly beautiful.

The Sonoma-Marin Fair also honors its 75 years with an exhibit in the Beverly C. Wilson Exhibit Hall, and the county’s agriculture in Ag-Venture Land, where attendees can milk a cow, saddle a horse or ride a pedal tractor.

Tickets for the fair are $15 for adults, $10 for kids 4-12 and for seniors 65 and above. Seniors pay $5 on Seniors Day. The ticket includes admission to all carnival rides, concerts, livestock shows and attractions.

To see all the contestants and vote for your favorite, head over to

James Lanaras, Bay City News

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