Back to California Exposition

One of the most common stereotypes about college students is that they will only participate in free activities. As a senior in college, I can 100% confirm this. If you’re trying to coax college students into attending a function of any kind, simply include either the word “free” or the word “food.” Better yet, combine the two and promote “free food.” You now know the fool-proof formula. It never fails. Why am I babbling about college students and free activities you may be asking yourself? Because as a college student, I know how to navigate my way through an event (cough cough, like the Fair) without spending additional dollars. Thus, I am gifting you with a handy list of fun and totally free activities available for your enjoyment at the California State Fair this year, happening July 14-30th, once you’ve purchased an admission ticket.

First and foremost, let’s start with exhibits. ALL exhibits at the Fair are completely free to attend. And let me tell you, there are some great ones this year. Whether you stop into the sprawling Expedition Dino exhibit where you can meet giant animatronic dinosaurs or hang out with cute little otters in the Whale Tale Exhibit exhibit, you’re guaranteed to be entertained. And did I mention that these buildings are AIR-CONDITIONED? That’s what I call the cherry on top of an already rewarding exhibit experience. Once you’ve cruised through the Expo Buildings and are ready to once again venture outdoors, make a pit-stop at Jack In The Box Freestyle Motocross where you’ll witness bikers flipping through the air like mad-men! Turn around and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch one of the concerts from our amazing lineup at the Golden 1 Center Stage. While purchasing concert tickets allows you seats close to the stage, you can still catch a great view of the shows by checking in at the Golden 1 Stage at 5 o’clock to get a “free seating wristband”.
Peep the concert lineup:

Wow guys, I’m not gonna lie. I’m getting a bit overwhelmed writing this because there truly are so many free things to do at the Fair! But there’s no time to dwell, let’s move on! We have to discuss all the adorable critters at the Fair. Aside from the vast livestock area which serves as a temporary home to pigs, goats, cows, sheep, llamas and more, and is also completely free, this year we have free wiener dog races at 1:45 on Saturday, July 15th! Yes you did read this right: you have the chance to cheer on a group of short-legged, long-bodied pups while they compete in a game of speed and skill. Or maybe they’ll just get distracted by a squirrel and run diagonally. Regardless, this event is free to attend and is guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.

an image of a floppy eared wiener dog running over crisp green grass

Now you may be thinking, but Grace what about food?  You haven’t even mentioned food since your weird rant at the beginning of this post! Well don’t you worry, I still have your back! When you visit the Kaiser Permanente Farm presented by Savemart, you may stumble across Chef Keith Breedlove, the official California State Fair Chef, at the Grill. Throughout the day, Chef Keith holds several FREE cooking demos in which the audience both learns how to make his delicious food, and gets to taste it for themselves. I will never stop dreaming about his legendary mac n cheese. So gooey. So cheesy. Chef Keith is definitely a must-see. Oh, did I say demos? Well the demos don’t stop with Chef Keith. Everyday, California Buildings A and B hold a plethora of other exciting demos of the food variety which include free tastings. You’re able to grab free bites of anything from peaches, to chocolate, to cheese, to honey and more! How’s that for a free snack?

Food demos aside, California Buildings A and B host more free activities to enjoy  including various canning and baking competitions in the Savemart California kitchen, cooking challenges á la MRE and Pro Chef, and even flower arranging demos where you can learn how to make your own arrangements from professional florists.  For the 21+ crowd, pop on over to the Farm to Glass exhibit to learn how your favorite adult beverages including wine, beer, whisky, and spirits are made. And guess how much all of this costs? Nothing! Because it’s free! Have you caught on to the theme of this post yet?

Hot off the presses!! Say your car is parked in the Cal Expo lot and you come upon the misfortune of the battery dying. Or perhaps you lock your keys in the car, or worse…you lose them! Before you panic, you’re in luck. Central valley towing will come to your rescue by jumping your car or letting you into car for the discounted rate of FREE. Simply call (916)-457-4000 to get the job done.

I’ve clearly proven to you through this wildly helpful post that the Fair has so many free things to offer that I couldn’t even mention them all without going on for ages! Of course the best way to truly experience all of these free activities is to get a Fair ticket and come see them for yourself. To find the full Fair event calendar and more information on the free activities mentioned above, download the official California State Fair app from the App Store. And guess what… IT’S FREE.


Written by Grace Becker