California State Fair

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California State Fair, opening day 2014

The California State Fair is the annual state fair for the state of California. The fair is held at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California.


According to an editorial in the Daily Alta on November 5, 1850, fairs were common on the east coast of the United States. They believed the state had potential. In 1851 the same editorial staff attended the "Exhibit of California Curiosities" and found it to only be a small sample of the resources of California.[1] In 1854 the California State Legislature created the State Agricultural Society and an exhibit of the state's fruits, vegetables, flowers, grain and livestock, was scheduled for the first time. $5000 worth of premiums were offered for the best of the show. The First California State Fair was held, beginning on October 4, 1854. It was held in San Francisco at the Music Hall on Bush Street, close to Montgomery Street, with the stock being shown at Mission Delores. At this time the fair was held in a different city each year with Sacramento hosting the following year, in 1855. It then moved to San Jose in 1856, Stockton in 1857 and Marysville in 1858. An exhibit hall was built at Sixth and M Streets in Sacramento for the fair to return in both 1859 and 1860 and then finally given official, permanent residence there.[1] Farmers and people from all over the state came to Sacramento after the fair's permanent move to the city. They came to see the farm machinery and all enjoy the fair entertainment as well as compete for cash premiums for best of show.[2] In 1968, the State Fair moved to its current location in the center of the City of Sacramento to the California Exposition (known as Cal Expo) at 1600 Exposition Boulevard. In addition to the State Fair, Cal Expo plays host to hundreds of other signature events each year. Featuring 350 beautifully landscaped acres, Cal Expo was initiated by Governor Pat Brown and opened by Governor Ronald Reagan. The current Cal Expo facilities were dedicated as a place to celebrate California’s achievements, agriculture, diversity of its people, traditions and trends that will shape the Golden State’s future.

Fair schedule[edit]

Schedule change[edit]

Cal Expo officials announced in Summer 2009 that for the 2010 State Fair, the dates will be moved up to July/August 2010 instead of the usual August/September 2010 original planning. This is because many local school districts are moving their first day of school dates to the last weeks of August, which is exactly when the state fair is open, and a majority of visitors to the fair are children, teenagers, and young adults, who, if the state fair was to keep original dates, would more than likely only be able to attend the fair on Fridays or the weekends.


Magnificent Midway[edit]

Ride Operations[edit]

Rides and Games are operated by Butler Amusements. Butler Amusements' first year at the state fair was in 2009, while all other years before the rides and games operator were RCS Amusements.


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.


  1. ^ a b Carson Hendricks (2010). California State Fair. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-8089-0. 
  2. ^ David Vaught (30 January 2007). After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley. JHU Press. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-0-8018-8497-9. 

Coordinates: 38°35′36″N 121°26′5″W / 38.59333°N 121.43472°W / 38.59333; -121.43472

External links[edit]

Media related to California State Fair at Wikimedia Commons