Central San Joaquin Valley is fully ensconced in county fair season, but there’s more than monster trucks and fried food happening through the next week.
Here are seven things you won’t want to miss.
Tulare Country Fair – Tulare’s country fair is heavy on motorsports, with a tractor pull, monster trucks and a demolition derby. There’s also the return of Buttercup the Cow, because nothing says “county fair” like a lifesized butter sculpture. Details: 11 a.m. Thursday-Sunday. 620 S. K St., Tulare. 559-686-4707, tcfair.org
Marc Anthony – Latin pop music has come a long way since Marc Anthony was riding the crossover wave, singing duets with Jennifer Lopez. We have “Despacito,” for one. So, the singer comes to the Save Mart Center as an accomplished, elder statesman. Anthony perform his Full Circle tour on a round stage, surrounded by fans. Details: 8 p.m. Friday. Save Mart Center. $49-$169. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com
Highland Games – Of all the reasons to go to Fresno Scottish Society’s Highland Games (the bagpipes, scotch ale, caber toss), the best might be this: A sheepherding exhibition. Details: Noon Saturday. Kearney Park, 6725 W. Kearney Blvd. $10-$15. www.fresnoscottishsociety.org
Music of John Williams – If you think you don’t like classical music, go rewatch “Star Wars,” “E.T.,” “Harry Potter,” “Jurassic Park” or “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and pay attention to the soundtrack. That’s the music of composer John Williams, whose work will be featured in the Fresno Philharmonic season opener. Guest conductor Stuart Chafetz makes his Fresno Philharmonic debut in the first of three pop concerts this season. Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Saroyan Theatre, 730 M St. $25-$79. 559-261-0600, fresnophil.org
Spanspek Music and Arts Festival – For a dozen years, Orosi’s Spanspek Festival has been a secret hotbed for area music; the place to see the hardest-working up-and-coming bands. Organizers announced this would be the festival’s final year and created the lineup accordingly. It includes Strange Vine, Sagey, Sci-Fi Caper, Basura, Macondo, Macho Culture and Werebear, plus DJs Lauro Martins, The Low Key Theory (Mychal Alva), TSON (Tson.exe) and Native Earthian. Details: 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Orosi Memorial Hall, 41645 Road 128, Orosi. $5. All ages. spanspekfestival.blogspot.com
Fiestas Patrias – If history holds, thousands will gather for this annual celebration of Mexican Independence, or Aniversario de la Independencia (Sept. 16). This year the event moves from downtown to the Manchester Center. Details: 11 a.m. Sunday. Manchester Center, 1900 Shields Ave. Free. www.univision.com
Reel Pride opening night – Fresno’s annual Gay and Lesbian film festival opens with a screening of “Hello Again.” The film features Tony Award-winning actress (and Fresno native) Audra McDonald looking rather fierce. Details: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20. Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. $95 festival pass. reelpride.com