California State Fair 2014 is going to be stellar!

The California State Fair 2014 festival will be held in Sacramento California with expected attendance of over half a million features a hit lineup of concerts and events.

California State Fair at night

Expected Attendance: over 528,000

Dates: July 12 – 28, 2014

Fair Location and California Map:

California State Fair
1600 Exposition Boulevard
Sacramento, California 95815
  • eMail: info@calexpo.com
  • Toll-Free: (877) CAL-EXPO
  • Phone: (916) 263-FAIR

Festival events

The 2014 California State Fair has over 70 free kids activities daily as well as rides with the Midway carnival features such as 100 high-flying feet of Vertigo, the White Water Log Flume and a Zip Line over the Sacramento fairgrounds. Check out some of the 2013 CA State Fair line up

Hotel Accommodations

Most of the following hotels are near Cal Expo, major freeways, regional shopping centers, restaurants and entertainment options from which to choose. Where applicable, click the hotel’s name to visit its website.

Cal Expo Quality Inn

1413 Howe Avenue Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 922-9833 or (800) 643-4422

Cal Expo Towne Place Suites by Marriott

1784 Tribute Road Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 920-5400

Courtyard Sacramento Cal Expo

1782 Tribute Road
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 929-7900

Double Tree by Hilton Sacramento

2001 Point West Way
Sacramento, CA 95815
916-929-8855

Fairfield Inn Sacramento Cal Expo

1780 Tribute Road
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 920-5300

Hampton Inn and Suites California State Fair lodging

2230 Auburn Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95821

Hawthorn Suites Sacramento

321 Bercut Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 441-1200

Hilton Garden Inn Sacramento

2540 Venture Oaks Way
Sacramento, CA 95833
916) 568-5400

Hilton Sacramento Arden West

2200 Harvard Street
Sacramento, CA 95815-3306
916-922-4700

Holiday Inn Express Cal Expo

2224 Auburn Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95821

(916) 923-1100

Holiday Inn Express Sacramento Convention Center

728 16th Street,

Sacramento, CA  95814

Motel 6 – Cal Expo

2030 Arden Way
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 929-5600

Red Lion Woodlake Hotel Sacramento

500 Leisure Lane
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 922-2020

California State Fair 2014 Timeline

1848 The cry of “Gold!” first heard in Coloma, California.

1850 California gained statehood as the 31st state.

1854 California legislature created the State Agricultural Society and the first annual California State Fair was held in San Francisco’s Music Hall located on the corner of Bush and Montgomery Streets. The livestock was quartered in Mission Delores. $4,660 paid in premiums. The first Fair was managed and funded by Col. J.L.L. Warren, a respected California seed and floral agribusiness man.

1857 Showing of manufactured goods was featured at the Fair.

1861 California legislature designated the capital city of Sacramento the Fair’s permanent location.

1871 Completion of transcontinental railroad allowed for the first exchange of produce across the country for display at fairs and expositions. The Floral Garden was added to the State Fair.

1879 A Fine Arts Show was added to the State Fair.

1880 Capitol Park Pavilion was built at 15th and N Streets making it the largest building in all of California and for the first time, all departments of the Fair were held at one location. President Rutherford B. Hayes only U.S. President to visit the Fair.

1895 Electricity came to the fairgrounds.

1903 California State Fair hosted first automobile race.

1904 State Fair Board of Directors voted to abolish gambling and the sale of spirits on the fairgrounds.

1909 Grand opening of State Fair on 80-acre site at Stockton Blvd.

1911 Wild West Show and Chariot Race featured at the Fair.

1916 As a result of the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition, international exhibits were added to the Fair.

1921 First annual fireworks display presented by Patrick Lizza who traveled from Pennsylvania.

1929 Pay toilets installed at the Fair.

1942 During the war, the Army occupied the fairgrounds and no State Fair was held from 1942-1946.

1948 1,000 acres of land was purchased along the American River to build larger fairgrounds. Televisions were exhibited for the first time.

1954 State Fair 100th anniversary celebration unveiled a fountain that shot water 30’ into the air.

1963 California legislature approved funds to construct Cal Expo

1967 Final year Fair held at Stockton Blvd. facility.

1968 Governor Ronald W. Reagan officially opened Cal Expo.

1969 6,800 foot-long Monorail was completed.

1972 California Forest Center opens.

1983 Demonstration Farm Exhibit opens.

1987 Fair hosts world’s largest Dairy Goat Show.

1994 World’s first DNA testing of livestock introduced at State Fair.

2001 Over one million guests visited the California State Fair ranking it fifth largest fair in the nation.

2002 September 11 Memorial Exhibit was opened.

2004 State Fair celebrates 150 years.

2005 Cal Expo becomes the only home of live harness racing on the West Coast.

2006 State Fair hosts its first ‘Most Talented Kid’ Competition.

2007 Cal Expo begins formal discussions with NBA to build new fairgrounds and sports arena.

2008 Cal Expo celebrates 40th Anniversary.

2008 Live Thoroughbred Racing returns to the State Fair after a three year hiatus.

2009 Cal Expo Board votes to change State Fair dates to July, starting in 2010

General California State Fair Times and dates

The State Fair will run July 11-27, 2014 at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California.More Info Coming Soon!
  • Monday – Thursday : 11 am – 10 pm
  • Friday – Sunday: 10 am – 10 pm

Magical Midway Carnival rides

  • Mon – Thurs: Noon – 11pm
  • Fri – Sun: 11am – Midnight

Kids Park

  • Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 11 pm
  • Friday – Sunday: 10 am – 12 am

Other California City events

Select your favorite CA city below to get the latest updates

Los Angeles West Covina Simi Valley
CA State Fair Torrance Visalia
California top events Thousand Oaks Victorville
San Buenaventura Temecula Vallejo
Sacramento Roseville Rancho Cucamonga
Ventura Riverside Salinas
Sunnyvale Richmond Norwalk
Long Beach Orange Rialto
Oakland Oceanside Palmdale
San Francisco  Ontario Pomona
San Diego  Murrieta Moreno Valley
San Jose Lancaster Modesto
Stockton Garden Grove Irvine
Anaheim Burbank Hayward
Fresno Fullerton Huntington Beach
Santa Rosa  Fremont Glendale
San Bernardino  Bakersfield Fontana
Santa Clarita  Berkeley Antioch
Santa Ana  Corona Downey
Santa Maria  Concord El Monte
Inglewood Chula Vista Escondido
Pasadena Carlsbad Elk Grove
Oxnard Costa Mesa Daly City
Santa Clara  El Cajon Fairfield

California festivals separated by month

Select the month of festivals and events you would like:

January April July October
February May August November
March June September December

2013 Concert Series

July 12

Night Ranger

July 13
True2Crue  as a Motley Crue Tribute Show

July 14
Weird Al Yankovic and The Alpocalypse Tour

July 15

Four Tops

July 16

Third Day

July 17

Hoobastank

July 18

Lonestar

July 19

Evolution and The Ultimate Journey Tribute

July 20

Grand Funk Railroad

July 21

Ana Victoria and Irene Davi

July 22

EnVogue

July 23

LeAnn Rimes

July 24

Air Supply

July 25

Kool and the Gang

July 26

Queen Nation – Queen Tribute Show

July 27

Zendaya

July 28

Randy Houser

History of the 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.  Soon after the discovery of gold, the state’s first daily newspaper Alta California encouraged the formation of an agricultural society to enhance the State’s reputation as an ideal place for farming and industry. Eager to meet that challenge, the California legislature created the State Agricultural Society in 1852. Eighty enthusiastic individuals signed up for the initial effort to plan an agricultural exposition.

Sacramento, CA – This summer the California State Fair will mark its 160th anniversary with a vibrant celebration focused on food, family and fun! July 12 through 28 fairgoers will enjoy the very best of California – from fine art to agriculture – along with exciting new exhibits including the iconic Disney C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A letters recently installed at the Cal Expo Main Gate.

Another inspiring display is “Let Freedom Ring: The 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.” The exhibit will truly come to life on Saturday, July 13 when President Abraham Lincoln is portrayed by renowned actor and scholar Jim Getty from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Also new this year, the “Hall of Heroes” interactive exhibit where kids of all ages can transform into their favorite superheroes, and pose for pictures in the Batmobile.

 

If horseracing is more your speed, catch eight action-packed days featuring Thoroughbred, Arabian, Quarter Horse and Mule racing. Race days are July 12-14 and July 17-21 at the Miller Lite Grandstand. Over in the Xtreme Zone, visitors will see incredible FMX shows all 17 days of the Fair featuring top-name athletes.

For food lovers, all the deep-fried favorites will return along with healthy alternatives like grilled fish and shrimp State Fair Tacos. This year’s featured fair food is the all new “Spaghetti Ice Cream.” Last year, fairgoers ate 3,800 Big Ribs (24-ounce slabs of seasoned beef on 17-inch ribs), 25,000 cinnamon rolls and 200,000 corn dogs!

Might be a good idea to eat after taking a whirl through the Magical Midway, because this year’s lineup of 68 thrilling rides will leave fairgoers spinning! The all-new Vertigo ride swings 100-feet above the ground. For a more relaxing ride, the Monorail gives visitors a complete tour of the fairgrounds including The Farm, featuring stunning flowers and vegetables in full bloom. Check out the Dirt-to-Dish demonstrations and learn all about urban gardening to grow your own food in small spaces.

Every single night of the 17-day fair, visitors will enjoy free concerts featuring LeAnn Rimes, Randy Houser, Kool & the Gang along with popular tribute bands like Queen Nation. Come out on a Friday or Saturday and stick around until 10pm for a thrilling fireworks show. Buy your State Fair tickets early and save big! The Family Fun Pack includes 4 general admissions, 4 ride tickets, and 1 parking pass for $44.95.  All tickets are discounted 39% and season passes are 87% off before July 11. Plus, every Tuesday is Wells Fargo Kids Day. Children 12 and under are free and rides are just $1 for everyone.  Every Friday, admission for adults 62 and over is only $8 before 8pm.  Head to bigfun.org for more information on concert lineups, attractions, food, exhibits and sporting events and to plan your 2014 State Fair experience.  See you there for food, family and fun!

 In 1854 the first California State Fair was held in San Francisco.Travel was a hardship for many in those days so organizers arranged for the Fair to move locations each year. Sacramento, San Jose, Stockton, and Marysville hosted the Fair for the subsequent four years. Pioneer residents quickly recognized tremendous riches in the fertile soil and so California’s number one industry, agriculture, was born. The Fair was the yearly source of entertainment and education for early settlers, drawing huge crowds of as many as 15,000 on a single day.When the Fair returned to Sacramento in 1859, a decision was made to find a permanent home. Sacramento was a bustling city with more than 2,500 buildings and a newly installed water system using two and a half miles of pipe. Six square blocks between E and H Streets from 20th to 22nd Streets were bought with monies raised through a special election and contributions from local citizens. This site was called Capitol Park. One aspect of those early Fairs that deserves special mention is the significance of the horse.Without the horse, it’s questionable how the West could have developed. The horse provided transportation and entertainment, and California’s role in the breeding of fine horses and the development of the sport of horse racing led the way. The California State Fair played a significant role in this development.By the turn of the century, the popularity and growth of the State Fair forced organizers to find a larger site. The Capitol Park location was sold and the State Agricultural Society then purchased 100 acres southeast of the city limits on Stockton Boulevard, which opened in the summer of 1909.For the next 58 years, the Fair continued to evolve and flourish. Some today might remember the Hall of Flowers and theGolden Bear sentinels that stood guard outside the brick County Building.The Fair features in 1854 were 2 inch long peanuts, 72 pound beets, and a 10-pound carrot measuring 3 feet long. Thrill shows, contests and pageants were introduced to enliven the summer event. Sometime in the 1870’s, California’s counties began to compete for “bragging rights” by creating exhibits showcasing their part of the state. This competition continues and today the Counties Exhibits are some of the most popular annual Fair exhibits among fairgoers.

Around the turn of the century, Fair organizers staged a train wreck delighting spectators as two locomotives crashed creating masses of twisted, steaming steel. This sensational demonstration was a huge hit and continued until the beginning of World War I. Just prior to the war, carnival rides were introduced. In those early years, exhibitors from throughout the state brought their livestock to the State Fair by rail. Today, the California State Fair hosts world-class livestock competitions and showcases biotechnology such as DNA analysis. For the centennial celebration in 1954, 10,000 ladies were given free orchids. A popular attraction was “Dancing Waters,” a 30-foot high colored water fountain that pulsated to music. Entertainment played a major role in the State Fair and big name acts like Jack Benny, Peggy Lee, Bob Hope, Abbott and Costello and Duke Ellington appeared.The California State Fair has come a long way since those days. Since welcoming the 21st Century, the State Fair has grown to more than one million visitors annually and proudly stages an international celebration of world unity and cultural diversity unlike any other in the State. Today the California State Fair is housed at Cal Expo on 356 acres adjacent to the American River.

The Fair continues to attract guests from all over the world by offering affordable family entertainment and a wide selection of attractions showcasing the international diversity of the Golden State. California’s Fair is the only fair or amusement park in the nation to boast its own police department, with more than 200 sworn officers representing 33 different law enforcement agencies. In addition, the Fair maintains one of three operational monorails in the country. The award-winning Demonstration Farm and The Forest Center, operated by the California Forest Products Commission, are both popular “living” exhibits. Another unique feature of the State Fair is the beautiful lagoon situated in the middle of the Cal Expo property, an asset held by an elite number of fairgrounds in North America.

California State Fair Timeline

  • 1848 The cry of “Gold!” first heard in Coloma, California.
  • 1850 California gained statehood as the 31st state.
  • 1854 California legislature created the State Agricultural Society and the first annual California State Fair was held in San Francisco’s Music Hall located on the corner of Bush and Montgomery Streets. The livestock was quartered in Mission Delores. $4,660 paid in premiums. The first Fair was managed and funded by Col. J.L.L. Warren, a respected California seed and floral agribusiness man.
  • 1857 Showing of manufactured goods was featured at the Fair.
  • 1861 California legislature designated the capital city of Sacramento the Fair’s permanent location.
  • 1871 Completion of transcontinental railroad allowed for the first exchange of produce across the country for display at fairs and expositions. The Floral Garden was added to the State Fair.
  • 1879 A Fine Arts Show was added to the State Fair.
  • 1880 Capitol Park Pavilion was built at 15th and N Streets making it the largest building in all of California and for the first time, all departments of the Fair were held at one location. President Rutherford B. Hayes only U.S. President to visit the Fair.
  • 1895 Electricity came to the fairgrounds.
  • 1903 California State Fair hosted first automobile race.
  • 1904 State Fair Board of Directors voted to abolish gambling and the sale of spirits on the fairgrounds.
  • 1909 Grand opening of State Fair on 80-acre site at Stockton Blvd.
  • 1911 Wild West Show and Chariot Race featured at the Fair.
  • 1916 As a result of the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition, international exhibits were added to the Fair.
  • 1921 First annual fireworks display presented by Patrick Lizza who traveled from Pennsylvania.
  • 1929 Pay toilets installed at the Fair.
  • 1933 Parking fees instituted at the Fair (25 cents outside, 50 cents inside fairgrounds), Goodyear Blimp landed at the Fair, horse betting reinstated.
  • 1937 Stockton Blvd. site expanded 75 acres and a horse show arena and racetrack grandstand were constructed.
  • 1942 During the war, the Army occupied the fairgrounds and no State Fair was held from 1942-1946.
  • 1948 1,000 acres of land was purchased along the American River to build larger fairgrounds. Televisions were exhibited for the first time.
  • 1954 State Fair 100th anniversary celebration unveiled a fountain that shot water 30’ into the air.
  • 1963 California legislature approved funds to construct Cal Expo
  • 1967 Final year Fair held at Stockton Blvd. facility.
  • 1968 Governor Ronald W. Reagan officially opened Cal Expo.
  • 1969 6,800 foot-long Monorail was completed.
  • 1972 California Forest Center opens.
  • 1983 Demonstration Farm Exhibit opens.
  • 1987 Fair hosts world’s largest Dairy Goat Show.
  • 1994 World’s first DNA testing of livestock introduced at State Fair.
  • 2001 Over one million guests visited the California State Fair ranking it fifth largest fair in the nation.
  • 2002 September 11 Memorial Exhibit was opened.
  • 2004 State Fair celebrates 150 years.
  • 2005 Cal Expo becomes the only home of live harness racing on the West Coast.
  • 2006 State Fair hosts its first ‘Most Talented Kid’ Competition.
  • 2007 Cal Expo begins formal discussions with NBA to build new fairgrounds and sports arena.
  • 2008 Cal Expo celebrates 40th Anniversary.
  • 2008 Live Thoroughbred Racing returns to the California state fair 2014 festival after a three year hiatus.
  • 2009 Cal Expo Board votes to change State Fair dates to July, starting in 2010

Cal Expo officials announced in Summer 2009 that for the 2010 State Fair, the dates will be moved up to July/August 2010 instead of the usual August/September 2010 original planning. This is because many local school districts are moving their first day of school dates to the last weeks of August, which is exactly when the state fair is open, and a majority of visitors to the fair are children, teenagers, and young adults, who, if the state fair was to keep original dates, would more than likely only be able to attend the fair on Fridays or the weekends.

Magnificent Midway
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.
Monorail
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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