"California's Golden Fairs" Exhibit at the State Fair Celebrates Bicentennial of Agricultural Fairs in North America

"California's Golden Fairs" Exhibit at the State Fair Celebrates Bicentennial of Agricultural Fairs in North America

The Ferris wheel is spinning, the 4-H and FFA kids are suited up in their uniforms, and the livestock is in the barn… It’s State Fair time, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is in on the celebration.

The department’s participation in the 2011 State Fair includes a “California’s Golden Fairs” exhibit in Expo Center building 4 (near the midway) that presents a retrospective of the 200-year history of fairs and expositions in North America, with an emphasis on county fairs right here in the Golden State.

“The ‘California’s Golden Fairs’ exhibit leads fairgoers on an historical tour of our county fairs and their roots as annual celebrations of local agriculture,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “In many ways, it’s amazing how far our agricultural community has come in 200 years — but this exhibit also reminds Californians that we will always be connected to our farms and our farmers.”

CDFA is also providing the perennially popular Insect Pavilion, giving folks a close-up view of creatures from as far away as a tropical rain forest—or as close as your own backyard. This year’s special feature at the Insect Pavilion is “beneficial insects,” predators that hunt pests on farms and in gardens. As always, butterfly collections, invasive pests and other interesting bugs and critters are also part of this fun and educational exhibit. The Insect Pavilion is part of “The Farm,” a living exhibit that is the centerpiece of the State Fair’s agricultural programs.

The State Fair includes many other agricultural games, activities, competitions and events, ranging from cooking demonstrations to livestock shows and even a Blacksmith Shop. CDFA encourages fairgoers to include these farming-related features on your State Fair itinerary.

The California State Fair runs July 14-31 with the theme, “The Fun Just Got Bigger!” Information about entertainment, exhibits, attractions, hours and tickets is available online at www.bigfun.org.

California’s first State Fair, back in 1854, was conceived as a way to bring together members of the agricultural community to share their farming expertise and engage in friendly competition. The fair has blossomed over the decades, incorporating many other features and favorites from the larger California community. With its roots firmly planted in agriculture, the State Fair remains an annual celebration of all that is best about the Golden State.

07.22.2011