The California State Fair is celebrating its 50th year at the California Exposition in Sacramento from July 14-31.
The event draws on average more than 600,000 people a year, over those two weeks including livestock show competitors from 54 of the 58 counties in the Golden State.
In 2010, the State Fair moved its schedule up to the month of July from August to accommodate visitors who attend school and to make it more comfortable for those visiting during the brutally hot Sacramento summer, said Sabrina Rodriguez, spokesperson for the California Exposition and State Fair.
Those date changes coincidentally conflicted with other regional county fairs that happen during the same time of year. This year, five regional fairs take place during the State Fair and another 11 take place in the week before or after.
These regional fairs happen during the same time as the State Fair: The Orange County Fair, Stanislaus County Fair, California Mid-State Fair, Lassen County Fair, and Amador County Fair are all happening at the same time.
These fairs take place either the week before or after the California State Fair: Marin County, Napa County Fair, Mother Lode Fair, Tehama District Fair, Solano County Fair, Ventura County Fair, Del Norte County Fair, Redwood Empire, Santa Clara County Fair, Sonoma County Fair, and the Yuba-Sutter Fair.
So, what kind of an effect do those schedule conflicts have overall attendance and participation in staple fair events like livestock shows?
Take the 106 year old Stanislaus County Fair for example, which has agricultural roots and places a focus its livestock show.
Last year about 230,000 people attended, said Adrenna Alkhas, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Stanislaus County Fair.
Thousands of children are competing this year in livestock competitions – bringing more than 15,000 animals from July 12 to July 23.
Cows, sheep, rabbits, turkeys, horses, and dogs are among the many different animals displayed during the county’s fair.
“There is no competition with State Fair,” Alkhas said.
Alkhas said there is a lot of support from the Stanislaus County community, which has meant an average of more than 230,000 visitors per year over the last decade.
However, some people who compete in the County Fair, may have to decide whether or not they’ll compete at just their regional fair, the State Fair, or do both
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