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California State Fair facts for kids

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California State Fair
State Fair 2014.jpg
California State Fair, opening day 2014
Genre State fair
Location(s) Sacramento, California
Years active 1854–1916; 1919–1941; 1948–2019; 2021–
Attendance 572,250 (2018)
California State Fair

The California State Fair is the annual state fair for the state of California. The fair is held at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California. The Fair is a 17-day event showcasing California's industries, agriculture, and diversity of people. The CSF features blue-ribbon animal displays, culinary delights and competitions, live music concerts, a carnival, fireworks, and other family fun. In 2018, officials reported daily attendance drew between 20,000 and 60,000 people per day and about $8.5 million of food and beverage expenditures. The fair is policed by the California Exposition and State Fair Police.


According to an editorial in the Daily Alta on November 5, 1850, fairs were common on the east coast of the United States. They believed the state had potential. In 1851 the same editorial staff attended the "Exhibit of California Curiosities" and found it to only be a small sample of the resources of California. In 1854 the California State Legislature created the State Agricultural Society and an exhibit of the state's fruits, vegetables, flowers, grain and livestock, was scheduled for the first time. $5000 worth of premiums were offered for the best of the show. The First California State Fair was held, beginning on October 4, 1854. It was held in San Francisco at the Music Hall on Bush Street, close to Montgomery Street, with the stock being shown at Mission Dolores. At this time the fair was held in a different city each year with Sacramento hosting the following year, in 1855. It then moved to San Jose in 1856, Stockton in 1857 and Marysville in 1858. An exhibit hall was built at Sixth and M Streets in Sacramento for the fair to return in both 1859 and 1860 and then finally given official, permanent residence there. Farmers and people from all over the state came to Sacramento after the fair's permanent move to the city. They came to see the farm machinery and all enjoy the fair entertainment as well as compete for cash premiums for best of show. From 1942 to 1947, the fair was discontinued while the expo was used for military purposes in World War II. In 1968, the State Fair moved to its current location in the center of the City of Sacramento to the California Exposition (known as Cal Expo) at 1600 Exposition Boulevard.

It was announced on April 24, 2020 that the fair for 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also cancelled in 1917–18.


Magnificent Midway

Ride Operations

Rides and Games are operated by Butler Amusements. Butler Amusements' first year at the state fair was in 2009, while all other years before the rides and games operator were RCS Amusements.


There is a permanent monorail system at the fairgrounds. The storage facility for the monorail trams are located in the northwest corner of the grounds. There are four different trams (Blue, Green, Orange, Red). They are only used during the state fair.

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