Memorial Day Weekend was full of community events in Sacramento. Music festivals, parades, family gatherings, and cemetery or memorial visits were part of celebrations honoring those who died while serving in the U.S. Military.
From May 21-25, thousands attended the 2015 Sacramento County Fair at Cal Expo. The Sacramento County Fair, whose theme this year was “Let’s Eat, Have Fun & Celebrate the Red, White & Blue”, estimated that over 96,000 would attend this year’s event.
The fair offered much to those who attended. Since it’s a family event there were petting zoos and other popular hands-on activities such as the Great American Duck Race where audience members raced their selected duck against others.
Specialty and festival-style foods were all around as well as the popular carnival rides by Midway of Fun. A giant vendor hall also occupied one of the Cal Expo buildings where customers witnessed demos for the goods and services on exhibit.
The highlight of the county fair for many is the livestock competitions. It was estimated that over 600 local youth involved in 4-H and FFA participated in raising livestock showcased for the fair. In many competitions, as judging was taking place, new participants were given accolades and helpful guidance as to what they can do to improve when showcasing their livestock.
Positive reinforcement was most evident when you saw extended families at the event to support one or more family members.
“We came from Reno to support our granddaughter, Sophia. It’s a special weekend for me since I get to see my kids and grand-kids doing something I grew up doing,” said Hanna Erickson, a Minnesota native. “It’s something that I’m sure they’ll cherish as they grow up.”
Proud parents Sheila and Jack Dinubilo had more than one child showcasing livestock. Zachary, Alexis and Jessica had livestock in different categories which meant their parents had to spend their weekend moving from one event to the next almost nonstop.
This was her first time showing at the fair for Alexis, who raised a steer for the past year named Black Jack. Black Jack weighed in at 1,172 lbs and won ribbons for Market Angus Beef Reserve Champion and 2nd place in Showmanship. With the Reserve Champion award they were able to put Black Jack on auction and sold for $2.35 a pound.
The Junior Livestock Auction allowed young competitors to see their efforts rewarded when their livestock sold to the highest bidder. It takes up a lot of time for the youngsters feeding, raising, exercising, grooming their livestock to get them ready. It also gives competitors educational work experience as they learn about nutrition, biology, finance, marketing, personal accountability and most importantly it’s an education that lasts a lifetime.
Livestock competitions awarded many ribbons and prizes to the young people who raised their farm animals.
Live entertainment was also a big part of the fun with hundreds of events planned throughout the weekend. I was able to fit into my schedule a handful of equestrian events, the All Alaskan Racing Pigs, the Kids Talent Show, and performances by Capt’n Jack Spareribs, Chinese Acrobats, ZZ Top Fandango, Jest in Time, Let’s Pretend Circus, Something Ridiculous, Steve Baynor the hypnotist, Walk on the Wild Side, and California Cowboys.
Other events not included in the price of admission, besides the carnival riders, included the Gran Jaripeo Mexican Rodeo and Fiesta, Demolition Derby and the Stars & Stripes Bull Riding competition.
Although the Sacramento County Fair is held during Memorial Day Weekend, which means that it competes against other favorite Sacramento events, it continues to draw a good size crowd. It is a well organized event that relies on many volunteers to help run smoothly.
Check out more photos of the fair here:
Photos by David Alvarez