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Top Things to See and Do at the Sonoma County Fair


Top 20 Things to See and Do at the Sonoma County Fair

Dig out your movie star shades and prepare for a magical red carpet debut as the Sonoma County Fair presents “Lights, Camera, Fair!” Gates open Friday, July 22nd for the Sonoma County Fair featuring 15 days of entertainment and fun for the whole family. This year’s movie theme brings a healthy dose of glitz and glam to the Fair, along with plenty of opportunities to find yourself star-struck by all the fun! Whether performing live on stage, submitting a movie-themed entry, or simply basking in the glow of superior community talent, you’ll find an abundance of things to see and do at this year’s “Lights, Camera, Fair!” So many things, in fact, that it’s wise to develop your own script for the day. Here’s our list of Top 20 ideas to get you started.

20. Create a five-star berry pie for the Old Fashioned Bake-Off walk-in contest on Sunday, July 31. Entries are received 11:00 – 11:30 am (plus you get in FREE to the Fair!).

19. Visit Sweet Lil’s Farm in the new Saralee & Richard’s Barn where you can get up-close and even touch the Fair’s “A List” stars—the baby animals! Cow milking, chick-hatching and so much more happens here daily.

18.Collect some autographs from a stellar line-up of musicians performing a wide variety of music nearly round-the-clock on four stages. This year’s new Community Concert Series, with big names like ARRIVAL’s Music of ABBA, Ozomatli, Cassadee Pope and Aaron Tippin, are FREE with Fair admission. 

17. Catch FREE family entertainment with Squirm Burpee—a vaudevillian melodrama, Pollywood Bird Show, Tinseltown Trivia, Pig Races and the Fair parade every day at 5:00 pm (you can be part of the show). 

16. Breath deep as you enter the Greenhouse. This new exhibit just outside of the Hall of Flowers is home to Butterfly Adventures and is a slice of Zen amidst the Fair hustle. 

15. Attend the Junior Livestock Auctions. See the auctioneers in action and appreciate a year's worth of work by young aspiring ranchers and farmers who select, purchase, feed, and groom livestock to be judged, graded and sold at the Fair.

14. Cool off as the Big Splash returns by popular demand. This carnival ride is a portable version of the popular theme park splash rides.

13. Shop in Grace Pavilion for jewelry, accessories, clothing, sunglasses and specialty products. You can always find something new for your home too.

12.Take a picture at the Hollywood Sign! Located at the Carnival entrance, it’s a whole lot closer than Los Angeles and yet so “L.A. cool.”

11. Chill us with your terrifying vocals in the Movie Scream contest. Check the Fair schedule for this and many more contests, such as the Diaper Derby, Elvis Impersonation and “Frozen” Trivia.   

10. Practice your moves and burn off some energy in The Backlot. Fairgoers of all ages are invited to paint sets, practice stage combat and more in this movie-themed activity area.

9. Feel the excitement build in Chris Beck Arena with one of these special events: PRCA Rodeo, Saturday, July 23; Destruction Derby , Saturday, July 30; Monster Trucks, August 5, 6 and 7! These shows require an event ticket in addition to Fair Admission.

8. Find and enjoy the ultimate Fair meal extravaganza! From hearty and healthy to deliciously outrageous, the Fair features over 60 food and beverage vendors. 

7. Become a dinosaur, pirate, circus clown, or astronaut as youngsters 10 and younger don costumes for “Let’s Put on a Show” in the Kids Area. 

6. Learn how to whip up healthy and quick new dishes with celebrity chef Laurie Figone in the Sonoma Backyard Kitchen, now located in the E.C. Kraft Building. 

5. Stroll through the Mercado and bring your dancing zapatos for the Fiesta at 4:00 pm on August 7. 

4. Broaden your horizons at the Fair’s Inspiration Stations where you can learn about fusion glass art, painted pottery, fly tying and more.

3. Bet on live horse racing July 28 – 31, August 4 – 7 and a bonus week after Fair August 12 – 14. And, don’t miss those dashing derby dogs on Sundays between races.

2. Be the star of your own western-themed action movie on Farmers Day, Sunday, July 24th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in Chris Beck Arena. With cows to milk and sheep to ride, there are starring roles for all!

1. Visit the Hall of Flowers and step into “Sonoma Cinema,” where iconic movies filmed in Sonoma County come magically and beautifully to life in a floral wonderland.

It’s “Lights, Camera, Fair!” during the 2016 Sonoma County Fair from July 22 – August 7, 2016, closed on Mondays. Enjoy our new Community Concert Series (FREE with Fair admission), the thrill of live horse racing, a giant carnival, the “Sonoma Cinema” themed Hall of Flowers, live entertainment, delicious food, fun contests, games and more! For details, visit or call (707) 545-4200. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with all the fair fun.