SACRAMENTO – The California State Fair has returned to the capital city this week, bringing with it thrills for the entire family. The State Fair runs at Cal Expo July 11-27. The theme of this year’s Fair is “It’s The Best.” Organizers, concessionaires, vendors and exhibitors, plan to do their best to entertain thousands of expected fairgoers who will attend this year’s event.
We’ve compiled a few highlights from the Fair’s two-week stint.
Live performances are a big draw for the State Fair. The Toyota Concert Series will include shows by such acts as Macy Gray, The Whispers and The Spinners. All concerts are scheduled to
begin at 8:00 p.m. on the Golden1 Stage and are free with Fair admission.
Concert seating is available on a first come first served basis, with exclusive reserved seating for those who purchase Gold Circle tickets.
Macy Gray is set to perform on Saturday, July 12. Gold Circle tickets for her concert are $14. The Spinners are scheduled to kick it old-school with a Tuesday, July 17 show. Their Gold Circle tickets are $18.
The Whispers are set to take the stage on Friday, July 25. Gold Circle tickets to their performance are also $18.
History buffs can learn more about African American pioneer James P. Beckwourth through an exhibit that will be open throughout the duration of the Fair. Beckwourth was a legendary African American frontiersman and businessman who participated in some of the most significant and exciting events in 19th Century American history including the fur trade of the Far West, the Seminole and Mexican War and the California Gold Rush. He is also the discoverer of the Beckwourth Pass and Beckwourth Trail. The exhibit will be located in the Counties Building-AgriFair Exhibit at Cal Expo. The exhibit is being presented to increase public awareness of California’s multicultural history.
A number of local performers will also get their chance to shine at the fair. Hip Hop and R&B performer Queen ABrique is set to take the stage on Sunday, July 13. The up and coming musician also known as Sabrina Brown will perform at 8:00 p.m. on the PG&E Center Stage. Queen Abrique has made a name for herself performing throughout California and recently put out a self-produced video, “West Coast.”
Book lovers can meet local novelist Terris McMahan Grimes on Monday, July 14 in Building A as part of the California Authors showcase. Ms. Grimes will discuss her latest book, “Smelling Herself” at 1:00 p.m. She’ll appear again on Friday, July 18th at 2 p.m.; Saturday, July 19 at 4:30 p.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. on July 23.
Young people have the chance to explore the joys of reading with a Youth Book Giveaway being held all day on Tuesday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 22. Youth, ages 18 and under, can visit Expo Center 2-Dream Big: Explore Your Future area and pick out a free book donated by the Page Turner’s Society.
On Thursday, July 17 Hip Hop, R&B Neo Soul artist Mo Betta takes the stage at 3:15 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Promenade. Mo Betta is an MC, singer, songwriter and dancer who is described as a “diamond in the rough, ready to shine.” She’ll be followed by the hip-hop group, Skool of Lost Soulz at 3:30 p.m. According to their bio, “this group represents the passion of the streets with their devotion to the true art of emceeing.”
It’s all about rhythm and roots as Umoja Productions African Dance & Drums Company takes the stage on Saturday, July 19. There will be shows at 12 noon and another at 3:00 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Promenade. Umoja Productions performs at public and private events throughout the community and has hosted its own Children’s Kwanzaa celebration for the past 13 years.
The cultural exposure continues when Jodama African Drum and Dance takes the stage on Saturday, July 26 at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 27 at 5:00 p.m. Both shows will be held in the Coca-Cola Promenade. Jodama performances are their own unique blend of varying sounds and percussions coupled with the oral traditions of dance expressions that are still maintained by Africans today.
The African American stepping tradition will be showcased on Sunday, July 20 when the lively Tina B & The Sac. Soul Line Dancers take the PG&E Center Stage at 1:00 p.m. The locally-based soul line dancing group dances to promote healthy hearts.
Dance and exercise meet again on Monday, July 21 as Zumbesta, Zumba with an Urban African Twist, is presented at 4:00 p.m. on the PG&E Center Stage. The demonstration will be repeated at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 27.
The Diplomatz Dance Team shows off their skills on the PG& E Center Stage Sunday, July 27.
The Sojourner Truth MultiCultural Museum will be on hand July 25-27, telling people about the upcoming Sacramento Banana Festival. Organizers will be located in the Save Mart Supermarkets California Kitchen area. There will be activities and giveaways in the California Festivals Booth.
Talented seniors from the Women’s Civic Improvement Club (WCIC) will take the PG&E Center Stage at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 25.
The sounds of gospel will fill the air on Saturday, July 26 with the popular Gospel Festival starting at 11:00 a.m. on the PG&E Center Stage. Come and be uplifted by gospel performers throughout the day as the 19th Annual Multicultural Gospel Celebration will feature talented and inspiring vocalists, praise dancers and pastors of all backgrounds and religions from churches across Northern California.
Other Fair activities include food challenges and demonstrations, a daily classic car show, midway rides, games, baby animals viewings, horse racing at the grandstand race track (check the schedule), and carnival foods.
For a complete list of activities, visit www.castatefair.com. Tickets to the Fair start at $10 for adults, $6 for children, $8 for seniors and $29.99 for a season pass. For more information, call (916) 263-3000.