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June 29, 2010 > Fair days and summer nights

Fair days and summer nights

By Julie Grabowski
Photos By William Mancebo

Pack in a variety of summer fun with a trip to the 98th Annual Alameda County Fair. Continuing through July 11 at the Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, the Alameda County Fair is the premiere destination for carnival rides, live music, contests and competitions; 16 days of exciting professional horse racing, animal and livestock exhibits, great food and fun.

Festival Square is a cultural smorgasbord of community groups, professional and amateur artists, food contests, authentic local flavors, live music, and traditional cultural games and activities. Americana Music Weekend runs from July 2 through the July 5, featuring Blues and Folk, Soul, Zydeco, and Swing among other styles, along with break dancing and line dancing demonstrations. July 10 and 11 is Spice of India Weekend, where visitors can get Henna tattoos; learn yoga and meditation basics; see fabulous Bollywood dance performances and shop for local produce, see art displays, and taste the offerings of food vendors.

Agricultural and Organic Thursdays begin at 2 p.m. each week in the Square, including cooking demos, gardening secrets, and natural beauty presentations. Every Friday is Children's Day, with youth-centered entertainment, art projects, and music.

AgVenture Park is the site for animal lovers, where you can visit baby lambs, calves, pigs, and chickens in the barnyard, pet and feed domestic animals in the petting zoo, and even see pigs "fly" at the always popular pig races. Kids can compete in a pedal tractor pull, view small animal exhibits, and learn about agriculture and farm life. The Annual Youth Livestock Auction takes place on closing day, Sunday, July 11 at 8:30 a.m.

A full concert program rocks Fair evenings in the Big O Tires Amphitheatre, offering something for every taste. Revisit the Oldies with Johnny Rivers, go alternative with Tonic, or spice up your evening with the Latin rhythms of Diana Reyes. Christian artists Natalie Grant and the Newsboys are in the lineup, along with tribute bands BeatleMajesty and Evolution. Country from Lonestar, classic rock, and some of the Bay Area's best Blues will also take the stage. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily, and free with admission.

And don't miss the fireworks show beginning at dusk on Friday, July 2!

Alameda County invites you to "Come Out and Play!" and put a healthy dose of fair into your summer.

At the gate admission prices are $10 for adults 13-61, $8 for seniors 62 and above, $6 for children 6-12, and children under the age of six are free. Unlimited Ride Wristbands cost $25 Mondays, and Wednesdays through Fridays, and $28 on Saturdays and Sundays. Fun Packs and Family Bonus Books are also available. Special admission includes Kids Free Fridays, $3 Wacky Wednesdays, and Seniors Free Thursdays. Military Appreciation Day is Friday, July 2, when everyone with a valid military I.D. will be admitted free along with one guest.

General parking for the Fair is $8, preferred $15, and preferred VIP parking costs $20.

A complete schedule of concerts, activities, contests, and attractions is available at

Alameda County Fair
June 23-July 11
11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily (closed Tuesdays)
Carnival hours: noon to closing
Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton
(925) 426-7600
Tickets: $6-$10

Festival Square:
Amateur Rib Cook-Off - June 30
Agricultural & Organic Thursdays - July 1, July 8
Americana Music Weekend - July 2-4
Hot Dog Eating Relay Contest - July 4
Gumbo Contest - July 5
Spice of India - July 10-11

June 29 - Closed
June 30 - Evolution
July 1 - Crystal Gayle
July 2 - Little Feat
July 3 - Con Funk Shun
July 4 - Blues Festival
July 5 - Newsboys
July 6 - Closed
July 7 - BeatleMajesty
July 8 - Grand Funk Railroad
July 9 - Tonic
July 10 - Lonestar
July 11 - War

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