A cattle drive down Pleasanton’s Main Street on Friday will kick off one of the Bay Area’s biggest and best county fairs.
Alameda County Fair organizers have been highlighting the Tri-Valley’s Old West roots in recent years while adding trendsetting events to appeal to new fairgoers. But the timeless traditions — carnival rides, homey arts exhibits and fair-food-on-a-stick — endure.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s fair run, June 15-July 8, including new policies on concert seating and shorter holiday hours.
CATTLE DRIVE: For the last couple of years, a cattle drive has replaced the annual opening day community parade. The procession of Corrientes cattle — and maybe some Longhorns — should arrive on Main Street between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Friday, June 15. Streets will close at 9:30.
CONCERT TICKETS: Big changes here. A regular, full-price fair admission will get you into the nightly concert — but a discounted ticket won’t. Also, you must reserve your concert seat ahead of time via the ETIX concert page on the fair’s website when you buy your tickets. Only those with advance seat reservations will be admitted into the amphitheater for the 8 p.m. show. Want choice seating? You can buy that too.
BEST MUSIC: According to our music critic, Jim Harrington, the top names on the bill include hard-rockers Blue Oyster Cult, hip-hop legend Sir Mix-a-Lot, country great LeAnn Rimes and local R&B heroes En Vogue. Read his full recommendations here.
HORSE RACING: The Pleasanton fair is one of the few in California to offer live horse-racing on select dates. Admission to the action at the track is free with fair admission. Dates are June 15-17, June 21-24, June 28-30, July 1, July 4 and July 6-8. Post time is 1:45 p.m., 2:15 on Fridays.
CONTESTS: You can enter your dog in the Derby Dog Dash (June 23), your kids in the Hippity Hop Contest (several dates) and you and your hat in the Hat Contest (June 30). Other fun events include a Cell Phone Photo Scavenger Hunt for kids and teens, with a June 29 deadline for online submission of photos.
FIREWORKS: A fireworks and video show will get under way nightly at 9:30 — but NOT on the Fourth of July. On the holiday, the fair will close before dark, with hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last entry at 2:30).
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Source:: Usa news site – Culture