The California State Fair returns to Sacramento this week, bringing with it excitement for all ages. The State Fair runs at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Boulevard, July 13-29.
Entertainment includes the annual Toyota Concert Series. This year’s concerts include performances by WAR, Kool & The Gang, Con Funk Shun and The Spinners.
War performs its classic hits on opening day on the Golden 1 Stage. Concerts are free with the cost of fair admission, but fairgoers can purchase reserved seating to War’s show for $15. The funk band had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s and tour around the world showing they’ve still got it. Their hits include “Low Rider,” “All Day Music” and “Slippin’ Into Darkness.” The concert starts at 8:00 p.m.
Kool & The Gang takes the Golden 1 Stage on Monday, July 16 at 8:00 p.m. Fairgoers can purchase reserved seats for $25. Kool & The Gang has been entertaining fans for more than 50 years. They’ve sold more than 70 million albums worldwide on the strength of such songs as “Celebration,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Let The Music Take Your Mind.”
Con Funk Shun is set to perform on Friday, July 20 at 8:00 p.m. Reserved seats are $15. Con Funk Shun was formed in Vallejo, California in 1969. The R&B and funk band has had hits with such songs as “Shake & Dance With Me,” “Chase Me,” “Love Train” and “Sho’ Feels Good To Me.”
The Spinners take the Golden 1 Stage at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. Reserved seats are $15. The group is originally from Detroit; today, only one original member, Henry Fambrough, remains with the group. The personnel may have changed, but the sound is as classic as ever. The Spinners have livened up stages for five decades with such hits as “I’ll Be Around,” “Working My Way Back To You,” “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” and “Rubberband Man.”
A number of local performers and personalities will also be featured at the fair. On opening day, Friday, July 13, the owners of Burgess Brothers BBQ & Burgers will give cooking demonstrations from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Save Mart California’s Kitchen area. They’ll also conduct demonstrations on Saturday, July 14 and Sunday July 15.
Local author Terris McMahan Grimes will be featured in the California Authors showcase. She is the author of the books “Smelling Herself,” “Blood Will Tell” and “Somebody Else’s Child.” The booth will highlight writers from throughout the state for the run of the fair from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the California Building B.
Members of the local Sisters Quilting Collective will have their work displayed in the California Crafts Exhibit throughout the fair in Exhibit Building 4. Connie Horne won second place in the Wearing and Designer Apparel division and third place in Pieced Quilt division. Past President Renae White won third place in a Pieced Quilt division.
One of Sacramento’s leading musicians, saxophonist Shaun Raiford presents the Shaun Raiford Experience on the Farm to Glass Stage Friday, July 13 from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. and also on July 14-15, July 20 and July 23-27.
The well-anticipated Multicultural Gospel Festival takes place on Saturday, July 14. Vocalists and choirs from the greater Sacramento area and throughout the state make a joyful noise on the PG&E Center Stage on 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Tina B. & The Soul Line Dancers slide onto the Promenade Stage on Sunday, July 15 from 1:00 to 1:50 p.m. The group promotes health through dance. The Umoja Productions African Drum & Dance Co. takes the same stage from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m.
International performer Keisha Wright channels an icon on Tuesday, July 17 with “Sweet Music: A Tribute to Tina Turner.” Wright takes the Promenade Stage, along with John Payne and the Hurt Band, from 8:00 to 9:50 p.m. Wright performed with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, the Blues Brothers Reborn and The Legends in Concert show in Las Vegas.
Up and coming Bay Area singer Amber Essence will take the stage on Thursday, July 19. She’ll show off her R&B, pop and soul skills on the PG&E Center Stage from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m.
The talented youth of the Grant Drumline set the beat on Friday, July 20 from 12 noon to 12:30 p.m. on the Promenade Stage; on Saturday, July 21 from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. on the PG&E Center Stage and again on the Promenade Stage on Monday, July 23 from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m.
The local dance group Forever Dancerettes perform on the PG&E Center Stage on Monday, July 16 from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m. The group has been featured at the Mahogany Festival and on “Good Day Sacramento.” Another local dance troupe, Every Girl Counts, takes the PG&E Center Stage on Tuesday, July 24 from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. Dancers will also be showcased on the Promenade Stage, with the Just Blessed Dancers on Monday, July 23 from 2:00 to 2:20 p.m. and the Jodama African Drum & Dance Company on Saturday, July 28 from 6:00 to 6:45 p.m.
Ten-year-old rapper, model, and actress Bianca Richelle helps end the fair on closing day, Sunday, July 29 with a performance on the Promenade Stage from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. Richelle, a native of San Francisco, has released the singles “Slide” and “Fresh All Day,” and has appeared in national ads for Coca-Cola, Target and Skechers.
For more on the California State Fair, visit www.castatefair.org/