Friday, June 7, 2013

California: 12 County Fairs – Get Your Summer On

County fair foods: ice cream cone, krispy kreme sloppy joe, deep fried cookie dough, waffle dog
 Ice cream cone, Krispy Kreme sloppy Joe, deep fried cookie dough, waffle dog
This summer it’s all about the county fair. California has nearly 80 of them throughout the year, and dozens to choose from during the summer. It’s a time for carnival rides, fun zone games, competitive exhibits, loads of musical entertainment and plenty of family fun. And food – well, put your diet on hold. At the fair you can devour everything from deep fried cookie dough to waffle dogs and wash them down with bacon beer.
Below are 12 of this summer’s many California county fairs, listed by date of opening. Average admission runs $6-$10. For more information, click the link on each individual fair.
San Mateo County Fair - June 8-16, 2013
79th year at its current location. Free fair admission on Wednesday, June 12 from 12pm to 3pm. Location: San Mateo County Events Center. Phone: 650-574-3247.
San Diego County Fair - June 8-July 4, 2013, Closed July 1
The fourth largest fair in North America, it draws more than 1.5 million visitors annually. The Beachboys kick off the Toyota Summer Concert Series on June 8, free with fair admission. Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds. Phone: 858-755-1161.
Merced County Fair - June 12-16, 2013
Tractor parade, petting zoo, kiddie rides. Location: Merced County Fairgrounds. Phone: 209-722-1506.
Shasta District Fair - June 12-15, 2013
Attracts 90,000 people over the four-day event. Horse show, livestock auction. This year’s theme is “Let Freedom Ring.” Location: Shasta District Fairgrounds. Phone: 530-378-6789.
Alameda County Fair - June 19-July 7, 2013, Closed Mondays
It’s in its 101st season. $1 admission and $1 rides on opening day, June 19. Fireworks show on June 21, June 28 & July 5. Location: Alameda County Fairgrounds. Phone: 925-426-7600.
Santa Barbara County Fair – July 10-14, 2013
Dollar day is Wednesday, July 10 - admission & carnival rides just $1. Live entertainment, delicious food, exhibits. Location: Santa Maria Fairpark. Phone: 805-925-8824.
Orange County Fair - July 12-August 11, 2013
23 days and nights of food, rides, games, exhibits, animals, headline entertainment and more. Location: OC Fair & Event Center. Phone: 714-708-1500.
Sonoma County Fair - July 25-August 11, 2013, Closed Mondays
Giant carnival, Wine Country Horse Racing, Derby Dog Dash, Hall of Flowers, free entertainment, more. Location: Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Phone: 707-545-4200.
Ventura County Fair - July 31-August 11, 2013
Purchase a personalized brick and your name will be part of the fair’s main entry plaza forever. Location: Ventura County Fairgrounds. Phone: 805-648-3376.
Yolo County Fair - August 14-18, 2013
The largest and oldest free gate fair in California, it was first held in 1893. Location: Yolo County Fairgrounds. Phone: 530-402-2222.
Los Angeles County Fair - August 30-September 29, 2013
One of the largest fairs in the USA. Daily parades, wine tasting, shopping with more than 600 vendors. Location: Fairplex. Phone: 909-623-3111.
Kern County Fair - September 18-29, 2013
Bakersfield’s largest annual celebration. Free concerts featuring Jo Dee Messina, Los Lobos, Lonestar, Uncle Kracker, and others. Location: Kern County Fairgrounds. Phone: 661-833-4900.


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