2017 California State Fair is Here

SACRAMENTO – Thrill rides, live entertainment and all the deep fried food you can eat. The California State Fair returns to Cal Expo July 14-30, promising that the “Best Moments Are Ahead.”

Fairgoers will once again brave triple degree weather to enjoy all the event has to offer. We’ve compiled a few highlights from the fair’s two-week run.

Opening day at the fair, Friday, July 14, included a live performance by the iconic musician and bandleader Sheila E. She’ll take the Golden 1 Stage from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. as the first of the fair’s Toyota Concert Series shows. Concert is free with the cost of fair admission, but reserved seats are available for purchase.

Members and supporters of the local Sisters Quilters Collective will have their award-winning works displayed throughout the fair in an Exhibit Hall along with other crafters from throughout the state.

Local African American entrepreneurs Jonathan and Matthew Burgess will gave away free samples of their cornbread and barbecue sauce, recently seen on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) on Saturday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m. in the Save Mart California Kitchen area. They also offer up samples at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 20 and again at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 29.

The popular Multi-Cultural Gospel Celebration retured for its 22nd year on Saturday, July 15. The daylong concert ran 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the PG&E Center Stage and features gospel talent from throughout Northern California including Calvary Christian Center, the Reggie Graham Quartet, Porter Brothers and Genesis, Robin Hodge Williams, and Pastor Kelvin Weldon and Anointed.

On Sunday, July 16 visitors enjoyed performances by Umoja Productions African Dance and Drums at 11:45 a.m. on the Promenade Stage, the Diplomatz Dance Team at 1:00 p.m. on the Promenade Stage and Tina B and the Sacramento Soul Line Dancers at 1:00 p.m. on the PG&E Center Stage.

The Grant High Drumline will take the Promenade Stage on Monday, July 17 at 3:00 p.m. and again on Tuesday, July 25.
R&B crooner Brian McKnight will be featured live in concert on Wednesday, July 19. McKnight, known for such songs as “Back At One” and “Anytime” is set to take the Golden 1 Stage at 8:00 p.m. as part of the Toyota Concert Series. Concert is free with the cost of fair admission, but reserved seats are available for purchase.

Local African American entrepreneurs Monique and Thomas Burns, of Spirit Cakes, will give out samples of their liquor-infused bundt cakes on Thursday, July 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Save Mart California Kitchen area. Try peach cobbler and a variety of flavors of spirit cakes at the “Made in California” Demo Stage.

The 1970s R&B/disco group Sister Sledge will show they’ve still got it when they take the Golden 1 Stage on Friday, July 21. Sister Sledge is known for their hit “We Are Family” and has released countless albums as a group and as solo artists since their 1971 debut. They’re set to perform at 8:00 p.m. as part of the Toyota Concert Series. Concert is free with the cost of fair admission, but reserved seats are available for purchase.

The energetic Hundred Unit dance fitness team will perform at 12 noon on the PG&E Center Stage on Saturday, July 22.
On Sunday, July 23, its Jodama African Drum and Dance’s turn to entertain. The group returns to the fair to perform on the Promenade Stage at 1:30 p.m. Local singer Lovell Crumby is also set to perform on the Promenade Stage at 3:00 p.m.

Richmond-based rapper Jadah hits the PG&E Center Stage on Monday, July 24 at 12 noon.

The hip-hop group Conscious Mindz will perform on the PG&E Center Stage on Friday, July 28 at 1:00 p.m.. The local youth dance group, Forever Dancerettes will also perform there at 2:00 p.m. Singer Tria B will also perform on the PG&E Center Stage on Saturday, July 29.

Those with unique names can finally see their names on Coca Cola cans. Fairgoers can visit the Coca Cola Promenade every day of the fair for free customized name cans as part of the Share A Coke campaign, seen in stores.

Other highlights include fireworks displays, $2 Taste of the Fair days and special days dedicated to those who serve others. If you didn’t get enough on July 4, the fair will close out every Saturday and Sunday with a large fireworks display at 10:00 p.m.. On Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. throughout the fair’s run every food vendor will have a food or beverage item available for $2. Typically this will be a snack-sized version of another menu item, or it could be something special.

On Thursday, July 20, BloodSource presents Military & Veteran Appreciation Day. Active duty, reserve and veterans from all branches of the military are invited to enjoy free fair admission. Military and civilian guests will enjoy a MRE cookoff, a showcase of real military vehicles, representatives from military organizations and other special entertainment. The whole day is focused on paying gratitude and celebrating the individuals and organizations that keep the country safe. For free admission, veterans or military personnel must present valid military ID at the California State Fair’s Box Office. Offer does not include admission for family members or dependents.

On Thursday, July 27 BloodSource presents another special day of thanks, this one will be for the hard work and bravery of members of law enforcement, firefighters and first responders. They’ll enjoy free admission to the fair. All other fairgoers can enjoy a day of fun celebrating first responders complete with special exhibits, interactive activities, one-day-only entertainment and much more.

For more information on the California State Fair, including cost of admission and a complete list of events, exhibits and attractions, visit www.castatefair.org.