Every year, during the scorching dog days of the summer in Sacramento, the California State Fair comes to town, providing plenty of entertainment, live music, rides and games, and good eats for the whole family. And for 17 days starting July 10th until the 26th, the California State Fair will celebrate its 162nd season, with an expected 750,000 people coming out to celebrate.

The California State Fair may have grown into one of the most popular events in America today, but its origins go all the way back to October 4, 1854. That was the starting date of the first California State Fair, which was held at the Music Hall on Bush Street in San Francisco. The event, which was designed to emulate the titanic world fairs and state fairs on the east coast, was supposed to call a different city host every year. So in 1855, it was Sacramento’s turn, and then San Jose in 1856, Stockton in 1857, and Marysville in 1858.

But a state of the art new exhibit hall lured the fair back to Sacramento in 1859 and 1860, after which the city became its permanent home. But calling the state capital home didn’t deter people from all over the state from traveling in for the event, including plenty of farmers and ranchers, since early fairs had an agricultural focus.

Cal Expo Fairgrounds:
In 1968, the State Fair found a new home within Sacramento when the modern and spacious California Exposition was coronated by Governor Ronald Reagan and Governor Pat Brown at 1600 Exposition Boulevard, where the fair has taken place every year since.

Of course everyone in Sacramento also knows the 350-acre “Cal Expo” for the hundreds of concerts, conferences, and events that take place on the fairgrounds throughout the year.  Over the years, Cal Expo has served as a wonderful time for the tens of millions of total visitors, with improvements like a color-coded monorail system added to the grounds.

Schedule and hours of operation:
The California State Fair at Cal Expo starts July 10 and continues every day until July 26. The fairgrounds are open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.Music and acts:
July 10 Morris Day and the Time
July 11 Comedian Paul Rodriguez
July 12 Air Supply
July 13 MKTO
July 14 Led Zepagain – Led Zeppelin tribute band
July 15 Martina McBride
July 16 Ashanti
July 17 Ky-Mani Marley
July 18 Queen Nation – Queen tribute band
July 19 Jerrod Niemann
July 20 WAR
July 21 Caravenerai – Santana tribute band
July 22 Theory of Deadman
July 23 Brett Nicole
July 24 Chase Rice
July 25 .38 Special
July 26 Brett EldredgeFood at the fair:
One of the most highly anticipated attractions of the State Fair is the eating! It’s no joke, as this year about 120 food vendors will take their edible offerings very seriously. Staying consistent with typical fair fare, there will be plenty of atrociously unhealthy and yummy treats, including just about anything deep fried or bacon-wrapped. This year, the deep-fried, bacon-wrapped chocolate New York cheesecake will be a big hit, just like bacon-wrapped turkey legs and bacon-wrapped churros were in past years.But if you’re watching your figure, there are also plenty of healthy options, with a farmer’s market area, fresh fruit juices, and grilled or steamed vegetables.In between all that bacon and fried foods, don’t miss out on jalapeno corndogs, catfish on a stick, authentic Indian food, french fries topped with lobster pieces and chipotle aioli sauce, burgers stuffed with macaroni and cheese, cinnamon rolls and fried cheese curds.

Beer, wine, and beverages:
To wash down all of that great food, there will be over 50 beers for patrons to drink, many of them local or regional micro-brews. And wine lovers will be in heaven with plenty of California and Sacramento-area vineyards on display, or wine slushies for those who want to dispense with vino-drinking etiquette.

If you want to drink your beer on the go, hop aboard one of the Chain Bike Bus Tours, which is a “rolling beer garden” for you and friends.

Tickets to the California State Fair are available online through the official website or at Cal Expo’s gate every day. Here’s a summary of ticket prices, and group and multi- day packages are also available.Adult Daily Admission: $12
Senior Daily Admission: $10
Youth Daily Admission (5-12): $8
Child Daily Admission (4 and under): Free
Family Fun Pack: $49.99Parking:
One of the great benefits of Cal Expo is that there’s never a shortage of parking. Parking prices are reasonable, at only $10 per day for cars and $5 for motorcycles. RV and bicycle parking is also available.Events:
There are almost too many fun events and activities at the California State Fair to mention in one blog, but some of them will include horse racing, drone racing competitions, freestyle motocross, bull riding, cooking demonstrations, a petting zoo, wine and beer competitions, livestock competitions, petting zoos, carnival rides, games, educational exhibits, and a neighboring water park to stay cool.Special Admission Deals:
Cal Expo and the State Fair offer plenty of special days and deals with discounted admission rates. Take advantage and save some money!

Wells Fargo Kids Free and $2 Rides for All Tuesdays: July 14 & 21 – FREE admission for kids 12 and under and $2 rides for all ages.

Senior Savings Fridays: July 10, 17 & 24 – Discount admission of $8 for seniors 62 & better prior to 8:00 p.m.. Plus, seniors ride FREE on the Grand Carousel and the Giant Wheel.

Youth Leadership Day: Monday, July 13

Enjoy activities catered to our future leaders.

Military & Veteran Appreciation Day: Thursday, July 16 – FREE admission all day for military personnel with ID.

First Responders Appreciation Day: Thursday, July 23 – FREE admission all day for first responders with ID.

For more information go to http://www.castatefair.org

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