Home Spun Fun at the 2013 Sonoma County Fair

July 23, 2013

Sonoma County FairIn case you missed or just didn't get enough of the Marin County Fair, you'll be happy to know that the 2013 Sonoma County Fair starts Thursday, July 25 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, and runs through Sunday, August 11. It's worth checking out if you've never been: it's bigger and a lot different than Marin's smaller, more intimate fair, and has more of an agricultural focus, which is natural for a more rural county like Sonoma. The Sonoma County Fair also features the largest themed flower show in the country, which is usually pretty stunning—this year's theme is "Backyard Blossoms."

The fair includes a kids' area and playground with appropriate entertainment and activities, including craft projects, dress-up, and a parents' rest station with changing tables and chairs for nursing. Other kids' activities include the Corny Crow ventriloquism show, s LEGO building contest, sidewalk art, and a bubblegum blowing competition. You can see the full roster of family events and activities here.

The fair also holds a daily parade around the grounds at 5 pm that all can participate in—if you want to join in, show up by the Milk Barn at 4:45 pm. Of course you'll also find plenty of other things to see and do, including the usual county fair offerings of concerts, livestock displays, contests, and tons of food, as well as horse racing, rodeos, a even a demolition derby. The fair also boasts two carnivals: a kiddie carnival for the little ones and five acres of more thrilling attractions for older fair-goers.

If You Go

The 2013 Sonoma County Fair is open 11 am to 11 pm daily (closed Mondays); gates close at 9 pm and exhibit buildings close at 10 pm. Admission is $10 for ages 13 and up, $5 for children 7–12, and free for children 6 and under. The fair will also be free for seniors 60+ on Thursdays and for ages 7–12 on Fridays. Some fair attractions, such as headliner concerts, rodeos, carnival rides, and horse racing, are subject to additional ticket fees, and parking fees range from $6–$8, depending on the lot and its distance from the fairgrounds.

The Sonoma County Fairgrounds are located off Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa. To get there from Marin, take 101 north to Santa Rosa, then take the Highway 12 exit and head east; exit Highway 12 at the downtown Santa Rosa exit, which will put you on Bennett Valley Road. After the stoplight, you'll see fairgrounds ahead of you to your right.

For more information on the Sonoma County Fair, including a full schedule of events and a list of all attractions, call (707) 545-4200 or visit www.sonomacountyfair.com.