It’s FAIR SEASON and we love a good fair! We should be considering that our backyard is host to one of the top county fairs in the country. But you don’t have to settle for local just to get some good things “on-a-stick”.
Here are the top 5 Fairs to think about visiting if you are loading the family up in the family truckster for a roadie this summer!
Alameda County Fair
Pleasanton may be a burgeoning suburban city these days, but the area’s ranching roots surface during fair time. For the third year, a cattle drive – yes, steers on Main Street! – will kick off the festivities. Throughout the event’s June 15-July 8 runs (18 days over four weekends), nighttime concerts will supplement the traditional fair fun. And the racetrack will host three libation-filled events: one with microbrews, one with wines, and one with cocktails. Click for details
Humboldt County Fair
Who says a trip to the fair has to be a sweltering affair? Consider this one in Ferndale, where the average temperature in August ranges from 58 to 71 degrees. Ahhhhh. The event bills itself as the “oldest uninterrupted county fair” in California, with plenty of old-fashioned exhibits. At the 122nd annual event, Aug. 15-26, live horse racing is expected to be the big draw, with seven days of “Racing in the Redwoods” scheduled. Click for details
Los Angeles County Fair
There’s big and then there’s really big — bigger-than-state-fair big. While the state fest brings 511,000 fairgoers to the 350-acre Cal Expo grounds, L.A. draws about 1.3 million to its 487 acres of festival hoopla, which includes bacon-wrapped everything, of course, as well as hot bands, racy rides, a steampunk circus, fire-eaters, exotic animals and special exhibits, such as this summer’s 20 immersive exhibits celebrating the iconic Route 66. Last year, it was the GRAMMY Museum’s Taylor Swift Experience. The fair runs Aug. 31-Sept. 23. Click for details
Orange County Fair
At a rip-roaring 23 days, this enormous fair packs a punch, from its Budweiser Clydesdales and Alaskan pig races to its unicorn nitro pop — a liquid nitrogen-frozen combo of kettle corn and whipped cream — and extreme pogo-stick events. Plus: A gigantic Ferris wheel, with 500,000 LED lights and 36 air-conditioned cabins, which will move on to the L.A. fair after the OC’s fair, which runs July 13 to Aug. 12. Click for details
Santa Cruz County Fair
To get to the fairgrounds in Watsonville, you have to drive along roads that go through many, many acres of crops – a good reminder of the county fair’s agricultural roots. It’s a relatively small fair, which is perfect if you have small fry. Besides the obligatory animal and produce barns, carnival rides, and pig races, there’s a shaded Kiddie Korral where your kids can run off some of their energy. The event runs Sept. 12-18 this year. Click for details