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June 15, 2012 > Happy Centennial Alameda County Fair!

Happy Centennial Alameda County Fair!

By Mauricio Segura
Photos By Courtesy of Alameda County Fair

1912 was filled with an abundance of memorable events. The Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg, Fenway Park opened its doors as the new home of the Boston Red Sox, The Republic of China was officially established, pro hockey was born with the first Stanley Cup going to the Quebec Bulldogs, The Beverly Hills Hotel began its run as the pink castle to the stars, and Edgar Rice Burroughs published "Tarzan of the Apes."

In October of 1912, the Alameda County Fair began offering fun, food, laughter, and good times to countless generations of families, getting better and better each year. "My grandmother remembers strolling through the fair in the late 1940s," says Desirea Guardia of San Ramon. "She's come back through the years with her kids, us grandkids, and this year she'll be there with my new baby, her great grandchild. The Fair, and maybe Disneyland, are the two main things that I can say join each of our generations in a common bond. The years pass, but we have those two places tying all of our lives, regardless of age, together."

In celebration of this hundredth anniversary, the Alameda Country Fair has tons of things planned. For starters, anyone over the age of 100 gets in for free. Pucker up them lips for the 100 second kissing contest, and for those hot Pleasanton days, a new white water flume ride will drench riders from head to toe.

As always, horse racing is the highlight of the fair. And for just $35 extra per person, one can view the races in the terrace featuring a daily themed buffet, no host bar, and private wagering booths. "I'm not a gambler," says Joyce Cash, "but it's fun to watch the races and put a little wager in from time to time. On top of that, the food is amazing, and it's shaded, which is great for the hot afternoons."

Concerts are also a huge draw. This year, the amphitheater will be rocked by the likes of Tower Of Power, Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Springfield, America, The Temptations, and many more. However, there have been some changes in the concert format; there will only be one free concert nightly at 7 p.m., and it's a first-come, first-seated affair. Overflow seating will be available on the lawn featuring a new jumbo-tron screen.

What can be said about the food? There is something for everybody. And as one would expect (or perhaps, not expect), there will be an abundance of food not served anywhere else. If it can be dipped and fried, you will find it on sale. Add the typical fries, corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, burgers, and BBQ and some people will find it difficult to wander around the rest of the fair.

Rides, rides, and more rides... for years, children and adults alike have run around to get on their favorite rides. They change from time to time, but this year there are 48 to choose from. In between rides, attendees can check out some cool shows as well. The Jest in Time Circus features physical comedy, juggling, dog tricks, dueling toilet paper blowers, flying pizzas and more. Then watch and participate when master hypnotist Tina Marie puts everyone under her spell in a powerful, memorable, and full-filled performance.

Photo and craft exhibits by adults and children are always on display in the pavilion. The County's Largest Classroom is an educational experience like no other. People of all ages will learn through countless exhibits and activities in subjects like music, math, science, agriculture, physics, cooking, robotics, and livestock production just to name a handful. And speaking of livestock, the petting zoo is a must see.

"There is so much to do and see at the Alameda County Fair," says Craig Peters of Lodi. "You imagine that you'll be able to just go and spend a few hours. Ya right! I find that I've had to go at least twice each year to see all the exhibits and special attractions. It's time well spent though. My entire family loves the fair."

Happy 100th Alameda County Fair!

Alameda Country Fair
June 20 - July 8
Tuesday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Fourth of July: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Carnival Hours:
Tuesday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - close
Friday - Sunday: 11 a.m. - close
Fourth of July: 11 a.m. - close

Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton
(925) 426-7600

Concert Schedule:
(All begin at 7 p.m.)

June 20 - Tower Of Power
June 21 - Wonderbread 5
June 22 - 38 Special
June 23 - Lonestar
June 24 - Salt-N-Pepa
June 26 - Evolution
June 27 - Jars of Clay
June 28 - Rick Springfield
June 29 - America
June 30 - ConFunkShun
July 1 - Carmen Jara
July 3 - Heartbreaker
July 4 - Red, White and Blues Festival
July 5 - The Temptations
July 6 - Hoobastank
July 7 - Morris Day & The Time
July 8 - Kellie Pickler

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