Everyone Loves a Fair – Especially When It’s Free!
In this digital world, summertime is one of the few parts of the year when nature itself offers up reasons for us to unplug. Our phones can’t follow us into the pool or ocean, and many of us don’t have service as we venture far and wide across the globe for summer vacations in forests, deserts, or foreign cities. And back home in Sacramento, an event rolls around every year that reminds us we don’t need video games or expensive electronics to have a good time. The California State Fair, a staple of Sacramento, is a great way for the whole family to have tons of fun without the help of a smartphone or computer. Unique foods, a 3.5-acre farm, a monorail, and more are all waiting for you inside The California State Fair. There are many exciting activities to see and experience, so put down your electronics, and make your way to the fairgrounds this summer.
Fun Pack for 4– Only $49.99 – ($91.00 value)
Season Pass– Admission everyday $35.99 + Raging Waters Water Park entry
Blue Ribbon Pass– $45.99 – Admission everyday, Raging Waters, monorail rides, horse racing reserved seat and coupon book
“Lady Bird” Experience Pass– $22.00 – Admission to the Fair + Unlimited “Log Ride” on the White Water ride. Stay cool and ride all day. Package based on the Oscar nominated movie filmed in Sacramento.
HorseRacing Cool Experience Package– $32.00 includes Admission to the Fair and a buffet meal with fresh local vegetables, salad bar and daily pasta specials. Healthy eating and horseracing fun! (Thursday – Sunday 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.)
One of the most fun things about the fair is understanding what the many agricultural workers of California experience each day on their farms. Some of the best cheese, honey, and olive oil can be sampled, provided by California’s best producers, in the Save Mart California Kitchen. Taste what has been grown and made in California, and if you want to learn even more about these products, you can join a class with the experts. Well-known sommeliers, olive oil producers, and honey makers teach The Taste of CA classes and serve up secret tips on how to spot the best of the best—not hard to do in this arena! Reserve seats here!
If you want to experience something ag-tastic, check out the amazing interactive exhibit “Life’s Big Ag-Venture.” It’s a board game brought to life inside the California Building, an air-conditioned respite from the sun. This fantastic exhibit lets you be the game piece and encourages interest in agricultural careers and joining ag-associated support organizations.It’s a great way to learn more about the impact that growers have on our community.
One of the best-kept secrets of the fair is the Kaiser Permanente Farm presented by Save Mart. This 3.5-acre working farm teaches students about produce grown in California. But best of all, the food grown here is donated to the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services.
Many come to the fair to see the animals, and there’s no shortage this year. The Horse Arena, a favorite for kids and adults alike, has thrilling demonstrations and performances all day long. This year, a special performance is based on the award-winning film “The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams. Come early because before each performance, you can get up close and personal with the horses. There are even scheduled times when visitors can ride them for free. If you’d rather see the horses race than perform, head to the Miller Lite Racetrack Grandstand, where you can watch live thoroughbred horse racing Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the fair. Download the CAStateFair App for showtimes and featured events.
While the agricultural side of the fair is fun, the rides, games, and food in the Carnival area offer even more. Make sure to take a trip on the Ferris Wheel after winning your sweetheart a giant stuffed animal at one of the great games. If you’re looking to scream with delight, check out the Ex Scream Machine Coaster or the Zipper. After those rides, settle your stomach on the Sky Ride and go get a yogurt, fruit cup or cinnamon roll. The fair doesn’t miss a chance to submerge something in hot oil, so make sure you get a taste of deep-fried goodness, be it Twinkies, pineapple, zucchini, or the classic corn dog.
As the sun dips below the horizon, why not slow things down with a little music? Every night, there are live tunes at the Toyota Concert Series on the Golden 1 stage. This year’s concert lineup includes WAR, Trace Adkins, Kool & the Gang, Sugar Ray, and more. There are also live performances at the Promenade Stage, Blues & Brews Stage, Western Saloon Stage, and PG&E Center Stage, highlighting famous performers like Mick Martin, Terry Hank, and other jazz artists. See the concert line ups here. Look to the skies every Friday and Saturday night for fireworks at 10 p.m.
If you can’t see yourself braving all this fair fun without your phone, fear not—you won’t drain your battery. The CA State Fair has several free “Cool Down, Charge Up” stations for you. These are fast-charging stations for your cellphone, located in official Fair Cool Spots. You’ll also find cooling misters, selfie centers, shopping, and fun exhibits. While you’re waiting for your phone to charge, take advantage of the fair’s free WiFi, available throughout the fairgrounds for those who can’t unplug. Download the CAStateFair App at the Google Play and Apple Store for free.
With so many things to do, see, eat, and experience, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t attend the California State Fair, be it plugged in or out! Don’t miss a moment of this memory-making event, July 13-29. Get your tickets now!
Free Days during the fair
Monday’s: Giving Monday SMUD Cares at the Fair. Bring in at least 3 non-perishable food items per person to donate to the Elk Grove Food Bank and get in free before 3 p.m.
Tuesday’s: Wells Fargo $2.00 rides for all and kids under 12 get in free.
Thursday, July 19th: Military & Veterans Appreciation Day presented by BloodSource- Active military, spouses and dependents get in free with I.D..
Thursday, July 26th: First Responders Appreciation Day presented by BloodSource – First responders and law enforcement get in free with I.D.