By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The summer is heating up at Cal Expo with the Sacramento County Fair returning after a two-year hiatus this Memorial Day weekend.

Kids were already exploring in line on Thursday morning. Several schools on field trips were first in the door.

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“Hands-on science; they are going to get to see the moving dinosaurs with reptiles and understand their history,” said Cal Expo’s CEO Rick Pemberly.

Fair favorites can be found outside, including the pig races. And there are even more pigs and goats at the pavilion.

Then there’s the sheep.

“This is Teddy and Queen,” said Amanda Dominguez as she showed off her daughter Natalie and her animals.

Natalie, a 4-H member, is following in the footsteps of her mother.

“I’ve mentored kids doing lambs throughout the years since I stopped. So, having my own, it’s pretty cool. It’s like coming full circle,” Amanda said.

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Crowds can watch their hard work pay off as 4-Hers and FFA compete, showing how to care for their animals.

It builds confidence and keeps the kids coming every year.

“I’ve learned we sometimes have hard times, but you also have good days,” Natalie said.

Something else that keeps kids coming: The rides. One of the best deals, if you’re a parent trying to wear your child out, is the unlimited ride pass at $35 per child.

Cal Expo hosted one of the largest vaccination sites in the region during the pandemic, but the Sacramento County Fair also looks to be a much-needed shot in the arm for the community.

“It means everything, especially for the kids, to be with each other,” Amanda said.

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Gates are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Monday when it closes at 7 p.m. Ages 17 and up will cost $12 a ticket, ages 12-16 $10, and kids 12 and under are free.