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First-Timer’s Guide to the Marin County Fair

Posted in Blogging Marin on Thursday, June 23, 2016 by MCVB Staff

First-Timer’s Guide to the Marin County Fair

By Megan Eileen McDonough


Pack your bags! The 75th annual Marin County Fair is only weeks away, and we've got the lowdown on this year's top attractions. From crafts and candy to markets and music, here's your ultimate guide to fair fun in the California sun.


Fast Facts

This year's Marin County Fair kicks off on June 30 and runs through July 4 on Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael. Doors open at 11 a.m. and close at 11 p.m., so there's plenty of time to see and do it all.

Snag your tickets at the door ($20 for adults, $15 for kids and senior citizens) or save some cash by pre-ordering online. Once you're in, you're "in"—meaning concerts, exhibits, entertainment, fireworks and carnival rides. Children under 4 are admitted for free. Speaking of which, ALL children under 12 years old have free entrance on Thursday, June 30, as part of Children’s Day.


Top Attractions

Kids and kids at heart will get their fill of adventure this year, with spectacular rides and nightly fireworks displays. Among the fair's most popular carnival rides is the Energy Storm, which takes riders for a daring spin through the air. The Yo Yo is another crowd favorite since passengers get to rise through the air and experience the sensation of flying. For something a little less heart-pumping, take a ride on the Giant Wheel, which towers 100 feet into the air at its highest point. Younger children will enjoy the Looney Tooter Train that takes riders around a circular track.



We hope you’ve worn your dancing shoes! The Wallflowers, Kool & the Gang, Sheila E., the Plain White T's and Foreigner are all slated to perform at this year's Marin County Fair. Los Angeles-based alternative rock band The Wallflowers heat things up Thursday night with a mix of old and new songs. With two Grammy awards under their belt and their "One Headlight" among Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest pop songs, it's sure to be a show to remember. Leave it to Foreigner to close the fair with a few of their 16 Top 30 hits and favorites from their 10 multi-platinum albums.


Competitive Exhibits

Feeling a spark of genius coming on? Then make sure to participate in some of this year's competitive exhibits. Going off of the 2016 theme "75 Years – What a Ride! 75th Marin County Fair," fairgoers can channel their creative side. Try your hand at decorating a merry-go-round or carousel animal or design a carnival ride or replica. Kids might enjoy making a treasure chest or adorning a hat. Have an eye for photography? There are eight photography awards for the taking, including Best Faces of Marin and Best Urban Marin Scene.


Global Marketplace

The Global Marketplace is exactly what it sounds like—a market filled to the brim with products and produce from around the world. It's a one-stop-shop for the whole family. Depending on your interests, browse through colorful artwork or take in the scene while munching on fresh snacks. Being green is a top priority for fair organizers. In continuing the fair's legacy of being "The Greenest County Fair on Earth," all vendors will use biodegradable or reusable plates, bags and more. Come hungry! Even with the 120,000 fairgoers around, there's enough grub for everyone.


For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page, or download the mobile app.