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Discover California County Fairs

There are 58 California County Fairs

Who doesn't love a good ol' fashioned local fair? Discover California County fairs for a down-home clamorous atmosphere, with excitement in the air, the mystery and intrigue of the nomadic carnies, the games and rides, the animal barns, exhibit halls, entertainment - musical and otherwise, pie-eating contests...

Alameda County Fair CC  kierstenbryant

Why do we love these fairs so much?

I'm sure part of it is the sheer anticipation, since they're annual events and we have to wait a whole year for the next one.

I think it's also because they celebrate farming, small town life, small local businesses, and old-fashioned homemaking skills.  Even if - no, make that especially if - we ourselves live inside city limits, no longer farm or even garden, and make the majority of our meals in a microwave.

But most of all perhaps, it's because most of us have been to at least one fair as a wide-eyed child full of innocence and wonder at the bustle, the animals, the crowds, the rides - the mysterious carnies who arrive stealthily during the night and disappear just as inexplicably after a few days - and the bright lights. For us, the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes bring it all roaring back.

No matter how jaded we may have become in life, it's hard to resist the power a fair has for sending us on a time-warp ride back into our childhoods.

If you love California fairs like Wolf and I do, you might want to consider visiting more of them than just the one that's in your county. Do I feel a road trip coming on?

Discover the County Fairs of Northern California

There are 58 counties in the state of California and pretty much each of them has a fair, so without further ado - here they are.

Alameda County: The Alameda fair is 19 days long and it takes place mid-June through the first weekend in July.

Alpine County: The Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair is a joint effort between Alpine, Inyo, and Mono Counties and happens at the end of August, over Labor Day weekend.

Amador County: calls itself "The Heart of the Mother Lode," and it's pretty much true. Amador's fair brings you four days of Gold Country fun during the last weekend of July.

Butte County: The Butte fair celebrates the critters, crops, and people accomplishments of the county on the last weekend of August each year.

Calaveras County: The Calaveras fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee gets underway in mid-May every year, in honor of Mark Twain's famous story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

Colusa County: The Colusa fair, which is held over the first weekend in June, has a different theme every year.

Contra Costa County: Contra Costa's fair moves around a bit - usually happening on the last weekend in May, in 2016 the timing changed to the first weekend in June.

Del Norte County: Billed as the Best Little Fair in California, this event occurs in Crescent City on the first weekend in August.

El Dorado County: The El Dorado fair began in 1859, but didn't find a permanent home until 1939 - it launches in June, over Father's Day weekend.

Fresno County: The Big Fresno Fair is in the middle of the Great Central Valley, where agriculture is king - it lasts for 12 days, starting in early October.

Glenn County: The Glenn fair emphasizes good old fair magic during the third weekend in May.

Humboldt County: The fair in Humboldt gets underway for ten days in August and is located in the Victorian village of Ferndale.

Inyo County: Inyo takes part in the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair in August (see Alpine County, above).

Kern County: There's always something going on at the fairgrounds in Kern, but the BIG deal is the annual fair at the end of September, beginning of October.

Kings County: Great musical talent, a rodeo, and the Swan Bros. Circus bring extra excitement to the Kings Fair in early July.Placer County

: The Placer fair takes place in June and includes four days of carnival and entertainment for everyone.

Plumas County: Touted as The Last Best Little County Fair, the Plumas-Sierra fair is in August.

Sacramento County: Sacramento hosts two fairs annually - the County Fair during five days in May, and the 17-day California State Fair in July, both held at Cal Expo.

Lake County: Everyone looks forward to the entertainment, food, exhibits, carnival, and livestock shows at the Lake County Fair in early September.

Lassen County:The Lassen fair has an ear for quirky puns to get everyone in the mood for it's July annual appearance.

Madera County: Called the Madera District Fair, this event promises "small town fair, big time fun" every September.

Marin County: Marin brings top-gun nightly entertainment to its fair in early July, and the performances are free with your fair admission.

Mariposa County: Gold Country folk look forward to September's Mariposa fair for old-fashioned fun for everyone.

Mendocino County: The annual Mendo Fair and Apple Show in September brings not only a traditional fair, but an apple show, a CCPRA Rodeo, and sheep dog trials.

Merced County: The five best days of summer get going during the Merced fair in June at the fairgrounds in Los BaƱos.

Modoc County: The Modoc District Fair is back up and running as of May 30th. The fair runs for four days during mid-August.

Mono County: Mono takes part in the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair in August (see Alpine County, above).

Monterey County: There's always plenty of farm fresh fun at the Monterey fair during the week running up to Labor Day Weekend.

Napa County: Surely the shortest fair in the nation, the Napa Fair & Fireworks happens on July 4th - that's it, just July 4th.

Nevada County: Discover five days of fair fun and excitement in August at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

San Benito County: One of the latest fairs in the season, the San Benito fair is held in September/October at Bolado Park.

San Francisco: San Francisco is unique in that it is both The City of San Francisco, and San Francisco County (same boundary for both), but alas, no fair.

San Joaquin County: One of NorCal's premier fairs, the San Joaquin fair is in June at the SJ County Fairgrounds in Stockton.

San Mateo County: Also in June, San Mateo's fair offers nine days of fabulous fair festivities at the fairgrounds.

Santa Clara County: Early August brings fair fun to the Santa Clara fairgrounds in San Jose.

Santa Cruz County: The Santa Cruz fair runs for five days in mid-September at the fairgrounds.

Shasta County: The Inter-Mountain Fair was first held in 1918 and it's been going strong ever since. It's held over the Labor Day Weekend each year.

Sierra County: Sierra County is part of the Plumas-Sierra County Fair in August (see Plumas County, above).

Siskiyou County: In operation in one form or another since 1859, the Siskiyou Golden Fair covers five days in August.

Solano County: The annual Solano fair also runs for five days, but at the end of July.

Sonoma County: And Sonoma County's fair runs for two weeks, from the end of July through the beginning of August.

Stanislaus County: Stanislaus conducts their fair for a full week (including two weekends) in July.

Sutter County: Sutter cooperates with Yuba County to produce the Yuba-Sutter Fair at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in early August.

Tehama County: Another late one, the Tehama District Fair opens for four days toward the end of September.

Trinity County: Four days in August are set aside for the Trinity fair at the fairgrounds in Hayfork.

Tulare County: Another county that waits until September, the Tulare fair runs for five days at the fairgrounds.

Tuolumne County: Tuolumne's Mother Lode Fair runs for three days at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.

Yolo County: Yolo's fair is in August and runs for five days at the fairgrounds in Woodland.

Yuba County: Yuba cooperates with Sutter County to produce the Yuba-Sutter Fair at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in early August.

Discover the County Fairs of Southern California

They tend to start their fairs a little earlier in SoCal, thanks to the very mild winters south of the Tehachapi Mountains. Most of us don't think about attending county fairs in February!

Imperial County: The Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta is one of the earliest of California's county fairs (see Riverside, below), being held in late February or early March each year.

Los Angeles County: At almost a month long, the L.A. fair is one of California's longest (see Orange County and San Diego County, below), as well as being one of the latest in the year. It takes place in September.

Orange County: Also a month long, OC's fair takes place from mid-July to mid-August, and includes some extreme action sports during that time.

Riverside County: Riverside offers an early fair for ten days in February, the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival where you can sample date shakes, cinnamon rolls topped with dates, deep fried dates wrapped in bacon, and Pink's Indio Date Dog.

San Bernardino County: Opening in May each year, the San Bernardino fair is also a ten-day event. Best of all, it's the place <i>Where calories don't count</i>!

San Diego County: San Diego's fair runs from early June through the 4th of July at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and offers a new elaborate theme each year.

San Luis Obispo County: The Mid-State Fair, <i>The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere</i>, presents 12 days of fair fun in July at the Paso Robles Event Center.

Santa Barbara County: Santa Barbara's fair has been <i>bringing in the fun since 1891</i>, and it comes back strong every July at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

Ventura County: And wrapping up our list of California County fairs, Ventura's fair runs for 12 days in August at the fairgrounds on Harbor Boulevard in Ventura.

And don't forget that most California county fairgrounds also offer venues for events and festivals other than the local county fair, so there's always something going on at your local county fairgrounds!

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