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California State Fair

The California State Fair is the annual state fair for the state of California. The fair is held at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California. The Fair is a 17-day event showcasing California's industries, agriculture, and diversity of people. The CSF features blue-ribbon animal displays, culinary delights and competitions, live music concerts, a carnival, fireworks, and other family fun.[3] California State Fair officials report that the Fair draws between 20,000 and 60,000 people per day with about $8.5 million of food and beverage expenditures.[2]

California State Fair
State Fair 2014.jpg
California State Fair, opening day 2014
GenreState fair
Dates10–26 July 2020.
Location(s)Sacramento, California
Years active1854–1941; since 1948 (1942–1947 discontinued, expo used for military purposes)[1]
Attendance572,250 (2018) [2]
WebsiteCalifornia State Fair


According to an editorial in the Daily Alta on November 5, 1850, fairs were common on the east coast of the United States. They believed the state had potential. In 1851 the same editorial staff attended the "Exhibit of California Curiosities" and found it to only be a small sample of the resources of California.[4] In 1854 the California State Legislature created the State Agricultural Society and an exhibit of the state's fruits, vegetables, flowers, grain and livestock, was scheduled for the first time. $5000 worth of premiums were offered for the best of the show. The First California State Fair was held, beginning on October 4, 1854. It was held in San Francisco at the Music Hall on Bush Street, close to Montgomery Street, with the stock being shown at Mission Dolores. At this time the fair was held in a different city each year with Sacramento hosting the following year, in 1855. It then moved to San Jose in 1856, Stockton in 1857 and Marysville in 1858. An exhibit hall was built at Sixth and M Streets in Sacramento for the fair to return in both 1859 and 1860 and then finally given official, permanent residence there.[4] Farmers and people from all over the state came to Sacramento after the fair's permanent move to the city. They came to see the farm machinery and all enjoy the fair entertainment as well as compete for cash premiums for best of show.[5] In 1968, the State Fair moved to its current location in the center of the City of Sacramento to the California Exposition (known as Cal Expo) at 1600 Exposition Boulevard. In addition to the State Fair, Cal Expo plays host to hundreds of other signature events each year. Featuring 350 beautifully landscaped acres, Cal Expo was initiated by Governor Pat Brown and opened by Governor Ronald Reagan. The current Cal Expo facilities were dedicated as a place to celebrate California’s achievements, agriculture, diversity of its people, traditions and trends that will shape the Golden State’s future.

Fair scheduleEdit

The 2020 fair will run from 10–26 July. Main gate hours are 11:00-22:00 Monday to Thursday, 10:00–22:00 Friday to Sunday.[6] Carnival hours are 14:00–23:00 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 11:00–23:00 Tuesdays; 11:00–0:00 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


Magnificent MidwayEdit

Ride OperationsEdit

Rides and Games are operated by Butler Amusements. Butler Amusements' first year at the state fair was in 2009, while all other years before the rides and games operator were RCS Amusements.


There is a permanent monorail system at the fairgrounds. The storage facility for the monorail trams are located in the northwest corner of the grounds. There are four different trams (Blue, Green, Orange, Red). They are only used during the state fair.


  1. ^ Alex Cosper (July 16, 2012). "Tracking State Fair History, Wondering Where its Going". Sacramento Press. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "California State Fair Attendance Numbers Continue To Dip". NewsRadio KFBK. Jul 31, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  3. ^ "California State Fair". Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Carson Hendricks (2010). California State Fair. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-8089-0.
  5. ^ David Vaught (30 January 2007). After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley. JHU Press. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-0-8018-8497-9.
  6. ^ "Hours". California State Fair. Retrieved May 23, 2019.

Coordinates: 38°35′36″N 121°26′5″W / 38.59333°N 121.43472°W / 38.59333; -121.43472

External linksEdit

  Media related to California State Fair at Wikimedia Commons