What to do and see during the final weekend of the California State Fair

Originally published by SacBee.com on July 27, 2018

All good things must come to an end. For the California State Fair, that end is this weekend.

Fortunately, the fair’s organizers have saved some of the best events, exhibits, competitions, theme days and concerts for last. Here’s the lowdown on all of the best things to see and do during the event’s last three days.

Friday, July 27

Friday’s biggest events include two classes. The first is a wine class with Michalea Rodeno of Villa Ragazzi Winery, which is located in Napa Valley. Villa Ragazzi is the first California winery to plant Sangiovese, a type of wine grape native to Tuscany, according to the California State Fair’s website. Attendees of this 2 p.m. class will learn all about the grape’s flavor and geography.

The second class is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will focus on the sweet flavors of California honey. At the “Taste the Nuances of California Honey!” class, Amina Harris, director of the Honey & Pollination Center at UC Davis, will take attendees on a journey up and down California through their taste buds as they sample honey from all over the state. Some of the honey varieties include Avocado, Blackberry, Coriander and Orange Blossom, according to a description of the event. Attendees will also learn about how bees produce honey.

Tickets for both classes are limited and can be reserved by visiting the State Fair’s website. They run $10 each for the wine class and $5 each for the honey tasting class. Tickets may also be purchased at the California Education Center in the Save Mart California Kitchen, where the classes will take place, prior to the event.

Other top things to see and do on Friday include an exotic bird demonstration, a free horse ride program, and performances by several artists, including Latin Party Crew, The Greg Kihn Band and Dave Russell Band.

In addition, the finals days of the thoroughbred horse races will take place through the end of the State Fair at the Racetrack Grandstand from 2:15 to 6:30 p.m. daily. For more information on this free event, see the State Fair’s horse racing web page.

Saturday, July 28

Some of Saturday’s most notable events include a high school cooking challenge at the Save Mart California Kitchen, the Racetrack Grandstand’s wiener dog races and the California Forest Foundation Forest Center’s chainsaw carving presentation with Matt Holms of Always Carving.

Other events include performances by Mr. Wonderful at the Blues and Brews Lounge, “The Grill” cooking demonstration and sampling event, and the day’s Toyota Concert Series performance by The Spinners.

For more details on these events and to check times and availability, visit the State Fair’s website.

Sunday, July 29

The final day of the 2018 California State Fair will be a themed “Out at the Fair” day celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to encouraging fair goers to dress up and show their pride, the Turf Club will host a buffet. For buffet reservations, Fair organizers say to call (916) 920-5131. There will also be an “Out at the Races” event. The day will end with a “Diva Drop” at the Bungee Jump in the carnival at 6:30 p.m.

From 11:30 a.m. through 6 p.m., Papa Murphy’s Park, home of the Sacramento Republic FC, will host the second California State Fair Cornhole Championship. This event, where competitors toss bean bags to score points, will feature 50 all-ages teams of two people each in a tournament for bragging rights, according to a description of the event.

The day will also feature the final concert of this year’s Toyota Concert Series on the Golden 1 Stage where fans can rock out with UB40 along with Ali, Astro and Mickey. Concerts are free, but tickets can be purchased for reserved seating.

Other events on the State Fair’s final day include a “Future of Food” National Geographic exhibit, cheese sampling with El Mexicano and a performance by drum crew Sacramento Taiko Dan.

Other stuff to know

These final three days are your last chance to enjoy the rides, chow down on unique food creations, and see the tree circus, freestyle motorcross, blacksmith demonstrations, art and photography exhibits, acrobats of Hebei China, hypnotist and other daily events.

Keep in mind that the State Fair is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except for the final Sunday when it closes at 9 p.m. There will also be no fireworks show on the final day.

For more on other new additions to the State Fair this year, how to stay cool and save money, what food to check out and how State Fair workers keep the food safe, check out The Sacramento Bee’s other coverage at sacbee.com/entertainment/state-fair.

About Daniel Wilson

Daniel has been a writer for over 25 years and recently earned his Bachelor's degree in journalism. Portfolio: www.dwilsonjourno.com.
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