A Small Caravan of Camels Ride into the Santa Cruz County Fair


Contact: Steve Stagnaro
Direct Line 408-354-5145

September 11, 2013

Watsonville, CA - As Fair visitors walk over to the livestock area, most probably expect to see pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, and other familiar fair animals. But camels? New to the Santa Cruz County Fair, visitors will have the chance to ride these animals that are normally found in the desert.

For $5 per person, Fairgoers will be able to take two laps around a track with the camels. The track will be located between the Pig Race Track and the Livestock Show Arena. The ride includes an opportunity to stop for a photo op. Two or three people can ride one of the camels at a time, depending on the amount of space available on the saddle. The weight of the riders does not matter much, as camels are incredibly strong beasts of burden. In fact, one camel is capable of carrying half of its body weight!

There are three camels that will be used for rides at the Fair: Tonto (13 years old), Big Al (11 years old), and Eastwood (6 years old). All of them are Dromedary camels, meaning that they have one hump. Two humped camels are known as Bactrian’s. All three camels were purchased from domestic breeders in the United States, as camels are no longer allowed to be imported into this county.

These camels give rides at a variety of fairs and other events. Over the past couple of months, they have given rides at fairs up in Oregon. These camels are given care up to the highest ethical standards and are treated as pets. They enjoy a diet that is similar to what many horses eat: grass hay and grain. All three camels are extremely docile and enjoy being around people.

Contrary to what many people think, the humps of camels are not filled with water. Instead, the humps are filled with dense fat. This fat can hold water for up to three weeks. This adaptation allows camels to survive for long periods of time without water in the desert. In addition, camels do not spit or bite like many people believe.

This opportunity to ride camels is one more reason why the Fair is fun for the entire family at an affordable price. The Santa Cruz County Fair will be taking place through Sunday, September 15 at the Fairgrounds located right off Highway 152 in Watsonville. Complete Fair details, including daily hours, are available online at santacruzfair.com.

Photo:  A high res print quality version of Young Lady on a Camel is available by contacting



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