California State Fair -- Something for Everyone!

It's that time of year again - only five more days until the California State Fair, where "Big Fun" has been happening since 1854. The first CA State Fair was in San Francisco and showcased things such as a three foot long, ten lb. carrot (Bugs Bunny would be jealous!); 72 lb. beets; and two inch long peanuts.

Sacramento has been home to the Fair since 1859. In 1909, the fair was moved to a new site at Broadway and Stockton Boulevard (as seen in the postcard above) where it continued for the next 58 years. In this post I'm sharing a sampling of images from the Stockton Boulevard site.

It just wouldn't be a Fair without entertainment, right? Check out what they did for kicks in 1913: crash two locomotive engines together!

Even though this scene below is from over 50 years ago, anyone who has been to the Fair should recognize this familiar parking situation!

This postcard states: "The California State Fair is housed in its own seven-and-a-half-million-dollar plant in the capital city. It is the largest state fair in the United States, featuring a two-million-dollar livestock parade, harness and running races, a nightly horse show and a brilliant nightly stage review."

The postcard above says: "Flowers in riotous profusion border the lagoon in front of the Agricultural Building at the State Fair."

California State Fairgrounds at the Broadway & Stockton Boulevard site - from my personal postcard collection

Here is an example of the entertainment in 1964: check out Rocket Man!

Per the article: ".... Using a rocket belt developed by the Bell Aerosystems Company, the Rocket Man, by means of jet propulsion, shoots up to heights in excess of 60 feet and travels at 60 miles per hour. The belt is the only known means of propelling a man above the ground in controlled free flight.... Literally free as a bird, the Rocket Man puts on a fantastic Buck Rogers demonstration which would only have been considered science fiction a few short years ago." That's entertainment!

1967 was the last year the Fair was held at the Broadway and Stockton Boulevard site. Since then, most of the buildings have been lost to fire or destroyed by the wrecking ball. In 1968, the Fair was opened at Cal Expo, where it remains today. I look forward to sharing some cool information about the "modernistic" buildings at Cal Expo designed by Wurster, Bernardi and Emmons in another post.

In the meantime, put on your favorite comfortable shoes, wear sunscreen, and bring your sunglasses and a hat. It's time for some Big Fun!

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