For many decades, the California State Fair has been known as a well attended event that offers something for everyone. And this year’s edition of the fair is no different.
The buzz regarding the fair, which begins tomorrow, Friday, July 12, and continues until Sunday, July 28, was already in full swing last week when this publication visited with various residents and visitors of the community.
Arden area resident Michelle Jackson said that she is looking forward to the fair’s free concert series.
“I like seeing the concerts,” Jackson said. “In the past, I’ve seen Ciara, Nicki Minaj and some other (artists at the fair). The Four Tops (on July 15) and Kool and the Gang (on July 25) at this year’s fair will be awesome.”
Other artists that will be performing at the fair include Night Ranger (July 12), Weird Al Yankovic (July 14), the Journey tribute band, Evolution (July 19), Grand Funk Railroad (July 20), EnVogue (July 22), Air Supply (July 24) and the Queen tribute band, Queen Nation (July 26).
Jackson added that she also likes going to the fair with two particular groups of people.
“I like going with the (special needs) kids, and I do it for my job,” Jackson said. “I take care of the (special needs children) and the elderly. I usually go with them and have a special day with that. We take the whole group and we get as many volunteers as we can get and let (people in these groups) do the fishing, let them see the animals, let them do whatever they can do at the fair.”
Tahoe Park resident Carol Doring also mentioned music, as well as animal exhibits and food, among her favorite fair attractions.
“I like (those things), and the overall ambience of the fair,” Doring said. “I like the feeling of being with all the people, the happiness that’s there. You don’t see any fights or rowdiness during the day. I’ve been (to the fair) every year for about the last 16, 17 years. And there’s been some improvements, so for the most part it’s better.”
And in commenting about the fair’s food, Carol said that she is a big fan of the funnel cakes.
While observing a schedule of events for the fair, Carmichael resident Doug Drewes pointed to a photograph of the fair’s newest ride, Vertigo, and said, “What’s that (ride)? I just like rides and (having) fun with the kids. I bring my children.”
While en route to go shopping in the Arden area, Yuba City residents Roy and Deidra Bagley and their 12-year-old son, Jarek, noted that they were looking forward to attending the fair on July 16.
“We know we’re going to see the Third Day concert on the 16th,” said Deidra with an enthusiastic tone to her voice.
“One of my favorite things is the Ferris wheel,” Jarek said. “I also like the animals.”
And in response to her son’s comment, Deidra added, “The 16th is kids’ day and all rides are a buck.”
Continuing, Diedra said, “We wouldn’t mind seeing (country and pop singer) LeAnn Rimes (on June 23), but we’ll see.”
Despite his young age, Jarek is much braver than many adults when it comes to eating unusual fair food.
“I like the Rocky Mountain oysters, rattlesnake (meat), buffalo burgers,” Jarek said.
But even Jarek has his limits to such adventures, as during one visit to the fair, he refused to eat chitlins.
“Sometimes I get scared,” Jarek said.
Roy said that attending the fair has becoming a tradition for his family.
“We’ve come to the fair pretty much every year for the last 10 years,” he said. “I just enjoy being with the family and hanging out. I also like going through the shops and seeing the cool, new gadgets and stuff like that that are for sale there.”
Reina Ortiz, who resides in the city’s Foothill Farms area, also makes coming to the fair a family activity.
“I have three kids, so they love the rides and the food is one of the best (fair offerings),” Ortiz said. “Funnel cakes, those are our favorites. And those (brick of) fries, you know the huge ones? Those are good. We buy one for the three kids and myself and my husband. That’s enough calories for everybody, so not just me. I like to see the magicians. That’s my favorite.”
And like many fairgoers, Ortiz is interested in many of this year’s live music performers.
While pointing to different areas of a listing of the fair’s concerts, Ortiz said, “I’ll probably see this one, this one and this one. I like that (kind of) music. It’s like music that you can understand that has a good message. Nowadays, musicians, they just sing about anything, stupid things, ridiculous things. They’re always (using) obscene language. That’s not good for kids. All bands, they used to sing about love, about situations in your life. That’s what I like, and that’s why I like those kinds of groups.”
Elk Grove resident Jim Tonel, who will be attending this year’s fair with his family, said that he is drawn to the demolition derby (July 19 and 20) and the Sacramento Mile flat track motorcycle racing event (July 27).
Jim, who performed at last year’s fair with a local Filipino association, said that he also enjoys the fair’s rides and food, and noted that he is especially a fan of the corn dogs and barbecued turkey legs.
This year’s fair will include a variety of other attractions, including live horse racing (July 12, 13, 14, 17 and 21), the Brewers’ Festival (July 20), Friday and Saturday night fireworks shows, the Hall of Heroes interactive exhibit, and The Farm, an award-winning demonstration farm.
Fair hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Admission to the fair is $10/general, $8/seniors, 62 and older, $6/children 5 to 12, and free/ages 4 and younger.
For additional details about the 2013 State Fair, visit the Web site www.bigfun.org.