Cal Expo
1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento"
Toll-free: (800) CAL-EXPO

Dates & times

2012: July 12-29, open till midnight on weekends


2010: July 14-August 1

2009: August 21-September 7, noon-10pm most days



A view from the monorail. What state fair would be complete without barnyard animals?

The California State Fair is a showcase of everything the Golden State is proud to hold forth as well as a healthy smattering of hawkers, fried foods, and carnival attractions. In 2008, the fair attracted 790,000 attendees. Starting in 2010, the fair will be held starting in mid-July because Sacramento schools are starting the school year in August, affecting State Fair attendance. Previously, the event was held annually beginning in mid-August and closing Labor Day weekend.

Among the attractions are:

  • Animals - From the huge Longhorn Cattle at the Livestock Pavilion to the dwarf show rabbits in the Fur & Feathers exhibit.
  • Arts - View the creativity of California artists ranging from students to professional artists. The California Fine Art competition is one of the oldest juried art show in the state.
  • UC Davis Vet Med people run the nursery at the Livestock Pavilion with live animal births and cute baby animals. The UC Davis Entomology Department runs the Insect Pavilion at the Demonstration Farm.
  • Deep-fried everything, including Oreos, Twinkies, funnel cake, cheesecake, zucchini, avacodo, mushrooms, chicken, chicken between Krispy Kreme donuts, and Coke (actually, Coke syrup). Don't worry, there's an on-site ambulance.
  • Midway Rides
  • The Demonstration Farm has almost every crop grown in the state; especially in the Central Valley.
  • The Wine Garden - Try out award winning wines for some decent prices. If you sound like you know what you are talking about, they may let you get a free taste instead of charging for it. But that assumes you buy a few glasses in the end, otherwise you will be charged for the taste.
    • Complaining about how the red wine is warm is an example of how NOT to act. We tried not to laugh too hard at the poor confused soul. - RC
  • Concerts - All concerts are free with fair admission, but reserved seating is available for an additional price. 2005 had several comedians and a lot of other performers.
  • Counties Exhibit - Learn what various counties within the state produce.
  • Vendors - See people try to sell you stuff you never knew you couldn't live without at the Shoppers Expo.
  • Free Trees - Visit the California Forestry Center and get a free sapling. In 2005 they passed out ponderosa pines and redwoods.
  • Live Harness Racing
  • Freestyle Motocross demos every day
  • Nightly fireworks


Admission is about $12 for adults and free for children four years and younger.

  • Buy discount entry and parking tickets on their website
  • Raley's and Bel Aire markets offer discounted packages which include entry plus ten rides.
  • Or you can volunteer and get in for free.

Parking is an additional $10 for cars and $5 for motorcycles; free bike valet parking. Many people park in one of the large lots nearby or at Arden Fair Mall and walk several blocks to the fair entrance.

Also see the Yolo County Fair in Woodland, which runs concurrent with the state fair.



The Midway at the California State Fair A donut chicken sandwich

External Links

State Fair coverage at the Sacramento Bee State Fair Activities 2010 July 2010 blog in Davis Life Magazine


2006-08-17 10:57:08   Yolo County won a Silver Medal in the county booth exhibit for it's Rice Of Plenty themed booth! —AngelaPourtabib