State Fair Hand Crafts

We can all appreciate that making something beautiful, useful, decorative, intricate and challenging is an accomplishment in itself; and that artisans and craftsmen, male and female, adults or young people, spend many hours perfecting their techniques and finding just the right materials to create a masterpiece. Decades Continue reading State Fair Hand Crafts

State Fair Counties Exhibits

A staple of the State Fair, the displays on view by individual California counties are always fun, creative, and educational. Where else can one see the beauty of the California coastline just feet away from waving fields of grain? Planned and built by local councils, college groups, chambers of commerce, boards of trade Continue reading State Fair Counties Exhibits

State Fair Wine Competition

The California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition has been an integral part of California’s wine industry since the first state fair in 1854, and one of its most important points is its emphasis on place: wines are categorized by where the grapes are grown, not the site of the winery.  It is the only competition to partition California into 11 wine regions and to recognize the best wines of each, and the only competition to designate best varietals and styles in California. Categories judged at the State Fair range from dry white through red table wines to dessert wines; low-and de-alcoholized products, brandies, and flavored wines. The first winery in Sacramento was established in the 1850s by German immigrant Jacob Knauth. By 1858 he was making wine of excellent quality, and winning state fair premiums. Unfortunately, his wine cellars were destroyed in the catastrophic 1861–62 floods. Newer wineries established in the 1870s and later included the Gerke Winery on 11th Street, the California and Pioneer Wineries at 21st and R, the Eagle Winery on 18th Street, and the Mazzini Winery on 3rd Street. The Roma Winery on 15th Street produced 80,000 gallons of wine and 6,000 gallons of brandy annually at its peak. None of Sacramento’s pioneer wineries survived Prohibition.

State Fair Food Crafts

When the California Agricultural Society launched what became today’s State Fair in 1854, consumers were already comfortable with purchasing the American canning industry’s tinned foodstuffs. Nevertheless, expertise at home crafts won high honors at the annual fairs in the 19th century.  In 1858, Mrs. Margaret Continue reading State Fair Food Crafts

Cal Expo

Founded in May 1854 by an act of the legislature, the State Agricultural Society was effective from inception, and its annual fairs were quite successful—but for a time it had no permanent home. The fairs traveled between San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, Stockton and Marysville until 1859, when Sacramento became the site of all subsequent annual exhibitions, and also the Continue reading Cal Expo