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PostHeaderIcon Alameda County Fair Turns 100

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Debuting on Wednesday, June 20, and running through Sunday, July 8, the Alameda County Fair is in full swing at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds.  Sense the spirit, feel the fun and enjoy the entertainment.  There’s something for those of all ages, and a milestone event it is---this year marks the fair’s 100th anniversary, with a Centennial Celebration to top them all.

The first Alameda County Fair commenced on October 23, 1912, running just 5 days.  As years passed, local leaders sought to establish a more modern fair, and following the San Francisco Exhibition, in 1939 the Alameda County Fair Association was born. Once considered an event where horse-racing was the highlight, the Alameda County Fair is now the proud host of livestock and agriculture, thrilling carnival rides, homemaking exhibits of quilts and artwork, baked goods and culinary contests. Fast-paced horse-racing still prevails, as well as the ubiquitous corn dog and cotton candy concessions.

This year’s Centennial Celebration wouldn’t be complete without the return of the downtown Pleasanton Parade.  A brand new concert format and a variety of distinctive memorabilia chronicling its 100-year history are on display.  The hometown spirit and synchronized sounds of a marching band, playing in the mood music, will be traversing the parade route on Main Street at 9:30 am on June 23 and again on July 7. 

In commemoration of the 100 Year anniversary, admission on Tuesdays is $2.00,  seniors are admitted free on Thursdays and there is no fee for kids on Fridays. The fair is closed on Mondays. Fireworks are featured every Friday at 9:30 pm. 

Friday, June 22 is Stuff The Bus Day where donating a new clothing item gets you in for just $5.00. On Wednesday, June 27,it's  Feed The Need Day, the fair’s food drive, benefitting the Alameda County Community Food Bank.  Bring four non-perishable food items and treat yourself to a feel-good day with free fair admission, and rides for $1.00 each.

The schedule of entertainment changes daily, presenting such names as Tower of Power, Rick Springfield, America and The Temptations.  One free concert nightly at 7:00 pm allows for overflow seating on the amphitheater lawn.

Special days and events at the horse races include:

A $10,000 Putting Contest, daily
Racing Seminars, daily at 11:45 am
T-shirt Giveaway, June 21

Opening Weekend Hat Contest, June 24

Binocular Giveaway, June 29
Acrylic Cup Giveaway, July 6
$1.00 Beers each Thursday before second race

Might you be interested in VIP seating overlooking the racetrack, close and in style?  Then the Trackside Terrace is for you!  Featuring a full, themed buffet daily, reserved seating, private wagering booths and No Host Bar, reservations in advance, including the fair admission, are $35.00/person.  The on-site price is $30.00 plus the fair admission fee.  Call (925) 872-6810.

Check out Festival Square, a destination within a destination, where each weekend’s theme highlights a beautiful culture from a region nearby or a distant land.  All aspects of that which fills us with pride will be featured:  community groups, professional and amateur artists, authentic local dishes, food contests, live musical acts and traditional cultural games.

In keeping with the historical significance of the 100 year anniversary, an opportunity is being offered to "Purchase a Piece of the Fair."  A custom inscribed personalized brick, which will be permanently displayed at the Alameda County Historical Monument at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds, is available to individuals and families at a cost of $180.00.  The charge for organizations or corporations is $330.00 for each brick.  Call (925) 426-7600.

Taking part in any of the variety of Blue Ribbon Contests is open for entries from Beef-eaters to Bakers, to Candlestick makers, with a grand finale BBQ Ribs and Chicken Cook-off on July 7.  Amble on by and peruse the choices of cheesecake, floral arrangements and jewelry designs.
On Face book, 100 Days of Giveaways is still in progress until June 19th, comprising prizes of a season pass of A’s Tickets, free tickets to the fair, a night’s stay at the Hilton and more.  Sign up daily and enter often to be eligible for a once daily giveaway of fun and exciting prizes.  

Admission tickets may be purchased at the gate or at a discount online.                                                                         
For further information on fair highlights or to watch a video for a look into the past, go to www.alamedacountyfair.com or call (925) 426-7600.

Karen Balch is a freelance writer, retired nurse, world traveler and has attended the fair many times over the last four decades. Reach her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Last Updated (Thursday, 21 June 2012 20:41)


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