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June 11, 2013 > Summer fun at the County Fair

Summer fun at the County Fair

By Jessica Noel Flohr

The summer sun is heating things up around the Bay. Children are anxiously counting down the last few days of the school year. Poppers and noisemakers can be found at the grocery store. County Fair season is in the air!

The Alameda County Fair is the East Bay's summer focal point. With so much to see and do, the Fair is a perfect way to kick off summer fun with the family. Petting zoos, tractor pulls, magic shows, rides, livestock, contests, horse races, concerts, and more food than you can possibly imagine await you at the Alameda County Fair-now in its 101st year!

In addition to rides, food, and contests, there are many unique attractions at the Fair including FMX motocross riders performing three shows every day. Their tricks will get your heart beating faster than the carnival rides! Twice each night you can catch Tina Marie, master hypnotist, amazing the crowds in Festival Square. Fireworks round out the celebration with three shows: June 21, June 28, and July 5. Music lovers can check out a nightly concert included in the cost of admission.

For families with young children, Kids Park featuring pony rides, face painting, and a children's theater is loads of fun for the little guys. Extra special treats for kids include a Frisbee Dog show, the Super Science booth and special carnival rides.

Festival Square, at the heart of the Fair, spotlights lively, themed multi-cultural days; Thursdays focus on farming and agriculture and Fridays feature the Battle of the Band Teen Contest.

Opening weekend is "Festivale Latino" with a tamale contest and Mexican Heritage Festival including a mariachi band, Aztec dancers, tortilla making, and Puerto Rican shaved ice.

Spice of India visits the fairgrounds June 29; taste samosas and enjoy a Bollywood performance or classical Indian dance.

On the 4th of July, participate or watch the All American hot dog eating contest and chili relay. Five teams of four participants each will swallow as many hot dogs as their stomachs can handle. Parents of toddlers can enter their little ones in the Diaper Derby and compete for Visa gift cards.

Horse racing is always a thrilling feature of the Fair. This year, CC Perkinson, former professional jockey turned actor, is hosting the races. On opening weekend, a hat contest will determine the most creative hats among adult and youth contestants. Adult winners receive cash prizes and youth win carnival wristbands and Fair tickets. Participants must register online by June 21.

Following the fourth race of each racing day, fair goers can join in the Hippity Hop contest out on the track. Grand prizes include A's tickets and tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The Alameda County Fair is a local summer mainstay with music, food, and fun for every age. Join the celebration!

Alameda County Fair
June 19 - July 7
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.
Closed Mondays

Carnival Hours:
Tuesday - Thursday: 12 p.m. to close
Friday - Sunday: 11 a.m. to close
Fourth of July: 11 a.m. to close
Ticket sales end at 9 p.m.

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

Adults 13 - 61: $10
Seniors 62+: $8
Children 6 - 12: $6
Children under 6 free
Parking: $10-20
Unlimited Ride Wristbands: $27-$30
Purchase online by June 18 for discount tickets

Concert Schedule:
All shows start at 7 p.m.
June 19 - Hinder
June 20 - Kix Brooks
June 21 - The Marshall Tucker Band
June 22 - The Spinners
June 25 - Evolution
June 26 - Francesca Battistelli
June 27 - Air Supply
June 28 - Pablo Cruise
June 29 - Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds
June 30 - Los Caminantes
July 2 - Caravanserai - Santana Tribute Band
July 3 - Zepparella - Led Zepplin Tribute Band
July 4 - Red, White and Blues Festival
July 5 - Weird Al Yankovic
July 6 - Zendaya
July 7 - Clay Walker

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