Corn Dog Days: California State Fair Opens

The big show unfurls at the Cal Expo in Sacramento.


IN A GINORMOUS STATE... with so many fine and robust county fairs, the state fair has to be extra state-fair-a-rific, extra animal-tastic, and it has to unfurl somewhere that comes with the pomp a big fair deserves. The California State Fair has been doing the livestock/quilt/new innovations thing since the 1800s, and its Sacramento-set location of Cal Expo feels grand enough to support its many components and two-week run. That run kicked off on Friday, July 11, and happy fair times'll be fairing-it-up through Sunday, July 27.

FEATURED ATTRACTIONS: The truth is you know you'll find some cotton candy (if you have a sweet tooth) or a corndog (if you possess a savory tooth) or something coated in batter and dunked in oil (if you have a fried tooth). There shall be Ferris-wheeling and goat-petting, too. But what of the special areas to visit? Nature lovers -- that's all of us, we'll guess -- can make for California Building B and Treecircus, which includes an exhibit on recycled urban lumber and climbing ropes. A special commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the state parks is happening at Expo Center Building 2, and a "tasty journey through Rock Candy Mountain" is part of the candy exhibit in Expo Building 5. And the concert series? Look for Macy Gray, Phil Vassar, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts to appear on the big stage during the fair's run.

FOR MORE ON... Camp Smokey and craft demos and the Stilt Circus and jam-making presentations and everything x everything -- an actual mathematical fair formula -- ride your Ferris wheel car this way.

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