The county exhibits at the California State Fair are fresh and creative this year. Photo by Susan Laird

Spotlight Columns

California’s state fair a real honey

By From page B2 | July 19, 2017

This year the focus is on agriculture at the California State Fair.

To be sure, there are concerts and entertainments galore. Deep-fried goodies on a stick, too.

When you meander through the indoor and outdoor exhibits, though, it is rather refreshing to see a focus on what foods are produced in the Golden State, the people who labor to produce those items and the good, old-fashioned pride that goes with that honest work.

The county exhibits are really good this year. I admit, I went with a critical eye. I expected to see “same old, same old.” And I was pleasantly surprised.

The volunteers from each county took a fresh look this year. There is tremendous pride of place on show … and creativity, too.

For example, Glenn County’s exhibit is a giant bee hive. Enter and a volunteer will serve a sample of honey and talk about beekeeping.

Sweet hive mind
There are several exhibits on bees at the fair. If you are interested in becoming a backyard beekeeper, this is the year to attend the state fair. Ask questions and make your plans.

El Dorado County’s exhibit is all new this year. No more recycled golden foil letters. A beautiful, handmade wood sign announces the county name to all. There is a cute painted artwork that kids and adults can stick their heads through for photos.

Unfortunately, the artwork hides the booth from view. So, look for the large yellow Golden One booth. Our county booth is right next to it.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Apple Hill Cider Press. Our county booth is staffed by volunteers who are happy to share their love of our little piece of God’s Country.

Use the app
Navigating the California State Fair can be confusing at times. To make it more accessible there is an app you can download. Go to your App Store and look for “California State Fair.”

The app features a daily schedule and it also allows you to plan ahead. The fair seems to be working hard to have animals on the weekends (such as the ones in the petting zoo).

If you are interested in a specific type of animal, you may want to search in the app to see what day it will be there. The state fair now competes with county fairs for cows, goats, sheep, pigs, etc. If your heart isn’t set on any critter in particular, go any day. Otherwise … plan ahead.

Sorta free music
Concerts are free every night of the fair. Reserved seating closest to the front is available to purchase.

Remaining concerts include Good Charlotte, Sister Sledge, Smash Mouth, Eddie Money, Blues Traveler, Anthem Lights, Paperback Writer, Trace Adkins, Belinda Carlisle, The Marshall Tucker Band and Melissa Etheridge.

Crowds at the fair are friendly and positive. The focus on food, family experiences and friendship this year seems to be a winning combination.

The California State Fair runs through Sunday, July 30, and is located at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. Visit for admission and fair hours.

Send your event for consideration in Susan’s column to [email protected]

Susan Laird


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