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 Crocker, who later donated her family’s fabulous art collection to Sacramento, won best exhibit at the fair–held that year in Marysville–for her dried pears, quinces, and canned fruits. The next year, when the Agricultural Fair was held in Sacramento, Margaret won a first premium for both her canned and dried fruits, and second place for her raisins, homemade catsup, and pickles. Her stepdaughter Mary, just eleven, won a silver medal for domestic wheat bread. Today homemade canned and baked goods still win medals and ribbons at the State Fair with entries that draw the admiration of professional, and amateur, cooks and bakers.

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

Commercial Wines at the Fair

Wine is big business in California. The Commercial Wine Competition at the State Fair, which judges entries to determine the best wines in the state, has been a tradition since the first state fair in 1854. Categories judged at the Fair range from dry white through red table wines to dessert wines, low-and de-alcoholized products, brandies, and flavored wines. Ribbons, awarded in each category, Continue reading Commercial Wines at the Fair

Livestock & Ag Machinery

The California State Fair continues what is now 164 years of tradition in recognizing the state’s farmers, ranchers, and related agricultural machinery. The Open Livestock and Junior Livestock competitions include: beef and longhorn cattle; sheep, swine, goats, dairy cattle and goats, pygmy goats, Nigerian Dwarf goats & Boer goats; llama and alpaca competitions. Awards are given for Continue reading Livestock & Ag Machinery

Plein Air at the Fair

Both amateur and expert painters will bring their easels & paints this weekend, July 21-22, to carry on the tradition of painting “en Plein Aire” – In Open Air, at the California State Fair. Challenge: to capture, on canvas, the iconic images of the Fair. Top three paintings at the end of the weekend will be awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cash prizes.  Speaking of artists…plan to visit the California Author’s Booth, on the ground floor across from the food court  in the Counties Building.