The California State Fair is a place to make long-lasting memories. Some of my earliest memories are from the CA State Fair: I remember running through the carnival, singing along to the Vanessa Hudgens and Hot Chelle Rae concerts, and watching my family members show their livestock in the Tractor Supply Co. Big Barn. But, what truly made these moments special were the experiences I shared with my friends and family. Throughout all these experiences, I shared it with the people I love the most—my friends and family. I used to—and still do—stare in awe at the magnificent fireworks, defying acrobats, and exotic bugs on display in the Farm. We still look back on our Fair memories as some of the highlights of the summer, and it’s what keeps us coming back year after year. We love the fair favorites, and we especially love the new exhibits every year.
This year, I had the chance to experience the Fair from a new light, through making sure the public had a similar experience to my most positive Fair moments. Whether it was dancing collectively in the Silent Disco, talking to the critters at the Whale Tail exhibit, enjoying the exciting ambiance of Hussong’s Cantina, or touring the Tiny Home Village, I always saw people enjoying their time and saying: “Wow, I’ve never experienced that before!” And that is what I love about the CA State Fair—our patrons can bring their friends and family and learn new information or try something that they wouldn’t have encountered in their everyday life. In sharing in that experience, fairgoers become closer through the process.
The California State Fair has the purpose of sharing the best of California with the public. Starting as a place to exhibit and promote agricultural practices, we keep that tradition alive through our youth and open livestock shows, our year-around farm, forest center, and new exhibits like National Geographic’s The Future of Food, Life’s Big Ag-Venture, and the California Rice Exhibit. I spent hours on my days off touring these exhibits and learning something interesting and exciting from every venue. Coming from an agricultural background, I thought there would be nothing new for me to learn, but to my excitement, there was a plethora of new technology and practices I had never heard of!
The California Building is my favorite site on our grounds, because it packs so many amazing exhibits into one place. Not only does it showcase our new agricultural exhibits aforementioned above, but it also holds our California Kitchen, Taste if California Experience Classroom, sampling centers, and counties exhibits. I could spend my entire day watching the cooking competitions and demos happening in the California Kitchen. Watching these professionals—and amateurs—make incredible creations look so effortless is awe-inspiring! I had the good fortune to be able to attend an olive oil tasting class in the Taste of California Experience Classroom, as explored through an earlier blog entry, and it was one of the most educational and interesting classes I have ever attended—that’s including my astrophysics classes in college! The sampling centers are a perfect way to taste the best of the best that California has to offer. It’s not often that I am able to taste the best Californian olive oil, cheese, honey, and strawberries all in one place. Finally, my absolute favorite parts of the California building are the counties exhibits. With nearly a third of the California counties participating, these exhibits truly showcase what makes each of their counties unique! I like to meander through the intricately decorated exhibits and speak with the county representative stationed at each county. They are all knowledgeable and obviously love their counties! Be careful though, these exhibits will make you want to take a California roadtrip! If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably have to be Glenn county’s film strip-inspired layout. It was so creative and definitely boasted the unique and interesting industries, nature, and people who call Glenn county home. Make sure to visit next year and let us know which county was your favorite!
Every exhibit you see at the California State Fair highlights some portion of California excellency. Be sure to visit all the attractions—from horse racing, vintage car shows, livestock exhibitions, Farm to Glass exhibit, and the Kaiser Permanente Farm, to the Forest Center, Camp Smokey, the cavalcade, the Exposition Buildings, and everything in between—for a personal and unique take on the best of California. I hope you didn’t miss a moment of celebrating the best of California at the CA State Fair this year, and that you left feeling a little more knowledgeable and proud to be a Californian, with memories that will last a lifetime. I know I did!
Written By: Kate Albiani