HAVING A BIG "FUN" GOAL? It's a worthy calling, no doubt. Some dedicated souls among us are plugging along in their noble attempt to visit every national park. For some people, that long-term goal involves cheering on a game at every Major League Baseball stadium, while other adventurers want to visit the capital city of every state in the nation (and, as they go, of course, every state, too). There are a lot of really solid goals out there, and while some pursuits can take a summer or two to complete, other mega, country-spanning plans might fill a happy, dream-it-do-it lifetime. And if your plan is to not only visit every state fair in the nation, but, while there, to ride the Ferris wheel, pet a pig, and devour a gooey fried treat, well, dilly-dally no longer, for the California State Fair opens in Sacramento on Friday, July 14.
THE TWO-WEEK RIDES-AND-MORE SPECTACULAR, which'll wrap on Sunday, July 30 (so, right, it's just a pinch over two weeks), will include all of the iconic fair details that state fair mavens want to see: A rollicking carnival atmosphere, rocking music, chow that's quirky and/or interesting and/or local, regional vinos, handsome horses, the judging of jams, live magic, cooking demos, cuddlesome rabbits, motocross, acrobatics, drill teams, and a host of other amazing sights and experiences. Cal Expo is the spot, of course, and of course you'll want to buy a ticket to the Toyota Concert Series if you want to jam out to artists like Ozomatli, Lita Ford, Sheila E., Sister Sledge, and Good Charlotte. For the whole line-up, for a look at what foodie events dot the fair's calendar, and for a feel of what to expect at a state fair that started just a half decade after the Gold Rush, follow the midway calliope music in this delightful direction.