San Mateo County Fair Returns
SAN MATEO –
The San Mateo County Fair is back and bigger than ever this week, featuring dozens of rides for kids of all ages, a wide variety of entertainment and food options and hands-on exhibits.
“This year’s fair will be special and filled with new events and exhibits for the entire community to enjoy,” Dana Stoehr, San Mateo County Event Center CEO, said in a press release. “With an amazing lineup of legendary performances, special events and all of the classic fair favorites, we are thrilled to bring our friends and families back together for over a week of excitement.”
Gates at the San Mateo County Event Center open at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 4, after more than a year of planning and despite supply chain issues and labor shortages, Fair Manager Justin Aquino said. The fair will run through Sunday June 12 aside from closures on Monday and Tuesday.
Aquino said the public should anticipate a much larger fair than last-year’s COVID-safe event. With reduced distance requirements and greater utilization of space, Aquino said the fair will be bigger than ever but some COVID-19 safety features like sanitization stations and public seating areas will remain a fixture at the event.
Pig races, live camel rides, fair foods and other classic fair features will be available to the public for the price of $20 for those ages 13 to 61 and $15 for children ages 6 to 12 and seniors 62 years old and above. Wednesday admission will be discounted to $10.
A $40 carnival wristband can also be purchased, granting unlimited access to rides on the day it’s redeemed. The grounds will feature Ferris wheels, carousels, the Yo Yo swing and other classic swinging contraptions like the Scorpion, the Shake Up, the Viper and the Zipper.
Among fair food favorites like corn dogs, popcorn, funnel cakes and fried sweets will be pickle lemonade, pickle pizza and pickle poutine from a Canadian vendor who will be offering other non-briney eats as well. A total of 18 food vendors will be distributed across the grounds.
“We were intentional about the number of concessionaires we wanted to bring in. These are all small vendors and we want them to succeed,” Aquino said. “We know they’re all going to be successful.”
An interactive and educational prehistoric display with animatronic dinosaurs and a butterfly tent by Sky River Butterflies, both being featured for the first time as fair exhibits in the Expo Hall. Attendees will also have access to free family-friendly games and puzzles from Super Science Company.
Livestock raised by local youth, including pigs, cows, lambs, goats and chickens, will also be on display throughout the week along with other competition entries like quilts, art pieces, baked goods and homegrown produce and plants.
And farmworkers are taking center stage at the fair this year. A photo exhibit focused on the hard work of farmworkers during the pandemic that was developed in partnership with the Cesar Chavez Foundation will be on display. And the final Sunday will also be Farmworker Heroes Appreciation Day in which a handful of farmworkers will receive recognition. And a mural of Larry Itliong, a Filipino labor movement leader who worked alongside Chavez, will be unveiled next Sunday.
Carolyn Hoskins, head of the Domini Hoskins Black History Museum and Learning Center, will be returning to the fair with an extensive exhibit diving into the historical contributions of Black figures in areas ranging from science and technology to arts, sports and politics.
New to the exhibit this year will be a display honoring the 19 students and two teachers from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, who died during a mass shooting June 10. Hoskins will be accepting toys and games to donate to the families affected by the shooting.
“We want people and especially kids to be able to understand how fortunate they are to still have the opportunity to be able to share and give back. I think we have to put ourselves in the position and think that this could have been our kids,” Hoskins said.
The fair’s free concert series will feature artists like The Commodores, Gloria Gaynor and The Sugar Hill Gang. The Uptown Funk, a Bruno Mars tribute band, and Queen tribute band Queen Nation will also be performing.
Other special performances will occur on Pacific Islands Day on Saturday, June 11, including musical artist Finn Gruva, a Sacramento native of Tongan descent. Dia de la Feria will take place on Sunday, June 12, featuring musician and filmmaker Abel Sanchez. His documentary film, A Song for Cesar, will also be shown on the last day of the fair, offering the public a look into the musicians who dedicated their work and time to advancing the labor movement in partnership with its leader, Cesar Chavez.
“We are so excited to present and showcase our talent-filled lineup of performers this year,” Stoehr said in a statement. “With performances from legendary award-winning artists and cover bands, the 2022 San Mateo County Fair’s week of concerts are definitely can’t-miss events.”
Visit sanmateocountyfair.com for more information on tickets and attractions.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106
ABOUT THE SAN MATEO EVENT CENTER
During COVID, the San Mateo Event Center was unable to host most events but instead played a vital role in protecting our health care workers and most vulnerable populations by serving as a COVID-19 testing site, operations hub, and supply center, 250-bed temporary overflow hospital, and vaccine distribution center for the San Francisco Bay Area. To date, the Event Center has administered 250,000 COVID-19 tests and vaccinated more than 90,000 individuals.
ABOUT THE SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR
The award-winning San Mateo County Fair is the Peninsula’s premier community event for family fun and entertainment. The San Mateo County Fair strives to provide a diverse experience through education, inspiration, and entertainment. The annual Fair represents a celebration of our community’s talent, interests, innovations, and rich agricultural and artistic heritage.