Local dairyman named fair parade grand marshal
Joe Airosa will lead the centennial celebration on opening day
By Kaitlin Washburn @Kwashy12
TULARE – For more than 60 years, Joe Airosa has exhibited just about any animal he could at the Tulare County Fair. Aside from horses and turkeys, Airosa, or a member of his family, has shown everything from pigeons to cows.
A dairyman from Tulare, Airosa has been involved with the fair since 1952. This year, he will be the grand marshal for the Tulare County Fair’s centennial celebrations parade, which will happen on the fair’s opening day on Sept. 11.
“I appreciate being selected, it’s a big honor,” Airosa said.
Airosa has been a part of the fair, 4-H Youth Development Program and Future Farmers of America (FFA) for about 67 years. He started showing livestock as a high school student in the 1950s and served as a 4H leader in the 1970s and 1980s. Through his work with the Tulare FFA, Airsoa teaches students how to raise, take care of and show livestock.
When Airosa wasn’t directly involved with the fair, he was showing his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends how to show livestock, like cattle, sheep, hogs and chickens.
“I made a living with animals – I have a passion for them and I get a lot of satisfaction out of working with kids, helping them learn about the real world,” Airosa said.” They learn it’s a lot of hard work, they lose sleep and don’t always win, but it’s an important education for them.”
Airosa said what he loves most about the fair is there’s always something for everyone and it feels like a big reunion.
“Everyone comes from towns throughout the county for all the festivities,” Airosa said. “You end up bonding with people who you wouldn’t normally cross paths with if it weren’t for the fair.”
At the fair, he has exhibited his own hogs and dairy cattle, and was one of the founders of a car club that started the first Destruction Derby in 1964.
Tulare County Fair CEO Pamela Fyock said in a news release announcing his selection that “no one is more deserving to be recognized in this 100th year than Joe. He has worked tirelessly on this century celebration.”
You’ll catch Airosa at Wednesday’s parade in a pick-up surrounded by his grandchildren.
The Tulare County Fair is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, with a wide variety of displays and events in the works to celebrate this landmark year. Events at the fair include the Junior Livestock Auction, rides and entertainment such as comedy an extreme dogs stunt show and five nights of performances on the Bud Light stage.