The California Exposition is an independent state agency established by law and governed primarily by the California Department of Food and Agriculture codes. Governed by an appointed Board of Directors, daily operations are managed by a permanent staff of 100. During the State Fair more than 2,000 temporary employees are hired for the event's duration.
The California Exposition is a self-sufficient operation that receives no government funding but still has an estimated economic impact of more than $250 million on the region.
The California legislature created the State Agricultural Society to promote California's reputation for farming and industry. An agricultural exposition was organized and held in San Francisco in 1854, and California Historic Landmark #861 marks the site. Given that travel was difficult in that era, the next several annual expositions were moved around the state, to Sacramento, San Jose, Stockton, and Marysville.
In 1859 the exposition returned to Sacramento, and it was decided that a permanent site should be found. Capitol Park, a six block site bounded by E, H, 20th and 22nd Streets () was purchased and was home to the state fair for the next fifty years.
Growth in population and attendance forced the purchase of 80 acres (320,000 m2) just outside the city limits on Stockton Boulevard (World War II, from 1942 to 1947, the Fair was suspended and the fairgrounds were occupied by the Army. During its formative years(1929-1942?), the California Highway Patrol used some of the State Fair facilities as an unofficial "training academy", later using other state-owned areas in the Sacramento area for training use until the current CHP Academy was opened in 1976.), and the first fair was held there in 1909. Continued growth caused that site to be expanded by 75 acres (300,000 m2) in 1937. During and after
In 1948 the state purchased a large tract of undeveloped land along the American River north of downtown Sacramento. Funds were not allocated to begin construction on this land until 1963, and the Fair continued at the Stockton Boulevard grounds until 1967. In 1968 Governor Ronald Reagan opened the Fair at the "Cal Expo" site, which covers over 350 acres (1.4 km2) at .
In addition to the annual state fair, Cal Expo hosts a number of other events, such as the annual Sacramento County Fair, Christmas Tree Land, and doll, car, and RV shows. The Cal Expo racetrack hosts harness racing meets almost year-round, except for State Fair thoroughbred racing, as well as motorcycle racing and concerts. The racetrack grandstand (The Miller Lite Grandstand) seats 22,000 and was the site of the 1983 Greater Sacramento Billy Graham Crusade.
California State Fair 
Fair Schedule 
Schedule Change 
Cal Expo officials announced in Summer 2009 that, beginning with the 2010 State Fair, fair dates will be in late July/early August instead of the previous long-standing late August/early September dates. This change is in response to earlier opening dates of many area schools, colleges and universities. Since a majority of fair visitors are children, teenagers, and young adults, allowing the fair to overlap with school session dates would limit their attendance to evenings and weekends. This plan appears to have resulted in improved fair attendance and revenues.
Magnificent Midway 
Ride Operations 
Rides and Games are operated by Butler Amusements. Butler Amusements' first year at the state fair was in 2009. Rides and games were operated by RCS Amusements for a number of years before that.
There is a permanent monorail system at the fairgrounds. The storage facility for the monorail trams are located in the northwest corner of the grounds. There are four different trams (Blue, Green, Orange, Red). They are only used during the state fair.
Possible Basketball Stadium 
The Maloof Brothers, owners of the Sacramento Kings, were considering building a new arena for the basketball team on Cal Expo grounds, replacing the current Kings home, Sleep Train Arena a few miles away. The Maloof Brothers and Cal Expo officials made assurances that no public money would be used in the building of the arena. However, the plan is now dead.
- Official web site of the California State Fair
- Promotional web site
- CDFA Division of Fairs and Expositions (governing body)
- California Historic Landmark 861
- California State Fair Virtual Tour (Java)
- Cal Expo Horse Racing