Press Releases

2018 Press Releases

  • And the Winners are… Alameda County Fair Announces Best of 2018 Commercial & Amateur Wine Competitions

    Pleasanton, Calif. – Alameda County Fair recently hosted its popular annual commercial and amateur wine competitions. From the 210 commercial entries received, the following are the top medal winners for each of this year’s competitions:


    Best of Show Red: The Wine Group, Concannon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015


    Best of Show White: Darcie Kent Vineyards, Grüner Veltliner 2016


    Best of Show Dessert: Las Positas Vineyards, Casimira


    Best of Show Sauvignon Blanc: Dry Creek Vineyard, Fumẻ Blanc 2017


    Best of Show Zinfandel: Rock Wall Wine Company, Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2016


    The Amateur Winemaking contest is open to California residents age 21 and over. Congratulations to this year’s top winners from 78 entries received:


    • Best of Show Red: Koos Wines
    • Best of Show White: Serendipity Cellars
    • Best of Show Dessert: Heaven’s Gate Vineyard


    For a complete list of wines and winners, visit:



    All Gold Medal wines from the 2018 competitions will be available for purchase by the glass at the Wine Garden every day of the Fair.

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  • Alameda County Fairgrounds Announces Launch of New Community Youth Barn

    “Barn Raising” Press Event
    Alameda County Fairgrounds
    Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 7AM


    Pleasanton, Calif. – Alameda County Fairgrounds officials, along with County Board Supervisor Scott Haggerty, will hold a ceremonial “barn raising” event on Thursday, May 24 to announce a new community Youth Barn currently under construction on Fairgrounds property.


    When completed, the 8,000 square foot Marissa Hunt Youth Barn will be open to all local youth interested in raising animals for the Junior Livestock Show held at the annual Fair.


    “In a largely urban setting such as ours, FFA, 4H members and other kids interested in raising livestock don’t always have a place to do it,” said Supervisor Haggerty. “The Youth Barn will give them that opportunity and we are proud and excited to be able to offer this great resource to our community.”


    The barn will house approximately 80 animals at capacity and will be operated by Fairgrounds staff and parent volunteers of youth participating in the program. In addition to animal pens, the building will feature a classroom & meeting space, restrooms, animal wash rack, outdoor paddock and livestock scale.


    “This project is in perfect alignment with our mission of preserving the agricultural heritage of our county,” said Frank Imholf, Fair Association Board President.


    The building is being named after ten-year-old Marissa Hunt, an Abbie 4H (Pleasanton) member who died in a car accident in 2004.


    The press event will occur at the construction site at 7AM, when the first concrete will be poured. Attendees should enter Gate 12 off Valley Avenue and follow the signs to the reserved parking area.

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  • No Bull – They’re Back! Alameda County Fair Announces Return of the Opening Day Cattle Drive

    Friday, June 15, 2018 — 10:30AM to 11:30AM

    Pleasanton, Calif. – Known as a hub for upscale shopping & dining, Downtown Pleasanton will once again pay tribute to its Wild West beginnings as the Fair’s Opening Day Cattle Drive returns for an encore on Friday, June 15. The live procession will feature cowboys, cowgirls, a big herd of steers, fair entertainers and loads of surprises.  The event will start at Del Valle Avenue and head on to Main Street in Downtown Pleasanton at approximately 10:30AM.


    “After the tremendous turnout last year, Alameda County Fair is excited to bring back the Opening Day Cattle Drive,” said CEO, Jerome Hoban. “This time we’ll have a few Texas Longhorns in the mix, plus Fair entertainers and other surprises. Bring your family & friends for a fun and memorable Western experience right here in Downtown Pleasanton — and then head over and enjoy at day Fair with your free tickets! ”


    Select downtown restaurants and retailers will give away free Fair tickets while supplies last, and the Museum on Main will provide fun activities for kids. Participating businesses will be listed on the Fair’s website.


    Main Street will be closed during the event, while side streets will implement rolling closures to keep traffic moving.

    The fun will continue with special attractions through Sunday for the Fair’s “Western Weekend” celebration. Blue Oyster Cult will perform opening night to kick off the 2018 Big O Tires Concert Series.

    Getting there is easy with BART and Wheels’ Route 52 Fair Shuttle, which starts operation on June 15.  Visit for schedule, map and event updates.

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  • Summer Job Fair

    At the Fairgrounds

    Saturday, April 28, 2018

    1PM to 4PM

    4501 Pleasanton Avenue in Pleasanton


    Apply and Interview for Fair Jobs On Site


    Pleasanton, Calif. – Anyone seeking seasonal employment this summer can get a jump on their search at Alameda County Fair’s Summer Job Fair on Saturday, April 28.


    The event runs from 1PM to 4PM at the Fairgrounds’ Yellow Gate entrance at 4501 Pleasanton Avenue in Pleasanton. Representatives from the Fair, Spectra and Venue Smart, the Fair’s on-site food & beverage and custodial partners, will be on hand to provide information, accept applications and interview potential candidates.


    Most positions start Mid-June and run through the second week of July. Students, “first job” applicants, retirees and all others interested in short-term employment are encouraged to attend. Candidates must be age 16 or older to apply.


    Parking available on Pleasanton Avenue and the ACE Train lot located across from the Yellow Gate.

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  • 2018 Big O Tires Concert Series Lineup Features 38 Special, LeAnn Rimes, WAR, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Blue Oyster Cult & More

    Tickets Available Now

    Concert Lawn Still Free with Admission


    Pleasanton, CA – Say Hello to 17 big nights of great music happening this summer at Alameda County Fair! Tickets for all shows are on sale now and, for the first time, all seats, including bleachers, are reserved and include Fair admission ($15).


    The full lineup includes Blue Oyster Cult (6/15,) Sean Kingston (6/16,) En Vogue (6/17,) Clay Walker (6/20,) 38 Special (6/21,) Smash Mouth (6/22), Sir-Mix-A-Lot (6/24,) Morris Day & The Time (6/27,) Con Funk Shun (6/28,) The Tubes (6/30,) LeAnn Rimes (7/5,) and WAR (7/8.)


    Popular tribute bands round out the series with Boys of Summer: The Music of the Eagles (6/23,) Queen Nation (6/29,) Purple Reign (7/1,) Journey Revisited (7/6) and Super Diamond (7/7.) Concerts start at 8PM nightly.


    Ticket prices vary by show and section. A regular, full-price admission ticket ($15) includes a reserved bleacher seat for any single show, but seats must be reserved online through the concert page on the Fair’s website at the time of purchase. All seats for Tribute shows are the same price ($15) and reserved on a first come, first-served basis. Floor seats range from $45 to $60, Upper and Lower Reserved section seats range from $25 to $30. All reserved and floor seat ticket prices include Fair admission.


    Season Pass member discount ticket prices range from $30-$45 and $10-$30, respectively, and all bleacher seats and tribute shows are free of charge. Season Passes may be purchased through the Fair’s website.


    If seats are still available the day of show, guests will be able to reserve them at no charge at any info booth or at the amphitheater with a smart phone. Seating at the Concert Lawn area just outside the Amphitheater is always free with admission and features live streaming of every show on the Jumbotron screen.

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    Amateur competition entry deadline: March 30, 2018

    Commercial competition entry deadline: April 27, 2018


    Pleasanton, Calif. – Calling all winemakers; Alameda County Fair wants your best! Entries for amateur and commercial divisions of the Fair’s popular wine competitions are still being accepted for a limited time.


    Amateur/homemade wine competitors must register through the Fair’s website by Friday, March 30th, 2018. Judging will take place in April with results to be announced by email the week of May 1st. The competition is open to California residents, age 21 and older. For more information, visit:


    Amateur Wine:

    The Fair’s commercial competitions – Alameda County Wine Competition, Zin Challenge and Sauvignon Summit – also welcome new contenders. All entries must be registered through the Fair’s website by Friday, April 27th, no entry fee required. The Zin Challenge and Sauvignon Summit competitions are open to all domestic (U.S.) wineries, while Alameda County Wine Competition is open only to wineries located in Alameda County.  Judging for all will take place May 9-10 with winners to be announced the following week.


    Winners will be announced publicly and will be on display in the wine exhibition hall for the duration of the Fair. All Gold Medal wines will be available for purchase by the glass at the Fair’s Wine Garden.


    For more information, criteria and rules, visit:

    Alameda County Wine Competition:

    Zin Challenge & Sauvignon Summit:

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    Make, Take, Grow or Show It!

    Enter by April 25, 2018


    Pleasanton, Calif. — Whatever your hobby, passion or distraction, there’s likely a contest for it at the Alameda County Fair! Crafty types of all ages and ability levels are encouraged to enter their best work in any of the Fair’s many youth or adult competitions.

    Contest divisions include Culinary Arts, Fiber Arts, Garden & Floral, Handcrafts, Hobby Collections and Science & Technology. Popular categories include:

    • Cake/Cupcake Decorating
    • Ceramics
    • Crochet/Knit
    • Gardening
    • Homebrew
    • Floral Arrangements
    • Jams/Salsas
    • Jewelry Making
    • Metal Work
    • Needlework
    • Photography
    • Pinewood Derby
    • Quilting
    • Table Decoration
    • Woodworking/carving
    • Many more


    For a complete list of adult and youth contests, entry information & rules, visit: The deadline for general entries is Wednesday, April 25, 2018.


    Some competitions are judged in advance of the Fair and require earlier entry deadlines including wine, homebrew, and national anthem.

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    LeAnn Rimes, Smash Mouth, En Vogue, 38 Special, Clay Walker, The Tubes, Blue Oyster Cult, Sir Mix-a-Lot, WAR & More to Rock the 2018 Big O Tires Concert Series

    Pleasanton, Calif. – Get ready to say HELLO to Summer and more good times at the Alameda County Fair! The Fair returns June 15-July 8 for an 18-day run over four weekends.

    The Fair’s Carnival takes center stage in 2018 with the addition of a brand new, cross-grounds Sky Ride. The attraction features 70 passenger gondolas that offer riders an exciting, bird’s eye view of the Fair. The ride will extend from the Green Gate main entrance to the Kids Park at the Yellow Gate entrance. Tickets are sold online now, or at the ride, and priced at $5 for one-way and $8 for round-trip.

    Also new for thrill-seekers is the TURBO, a super fast, adrenaline-rush ride with upside-down, free flipping action at 120 feet in the air. Take a spin, if you dare! And for the first time, carnival fans can get even more of what they love with the new Fast Pass – a priority entrance line for all rides, with no waiting. Fast Passes are available online now or at the gate for just $10 and are good for the whole day.

    The 2018 Big O Tires Concert Series lineup offers something for every musical taste with Blue Oyster Cult, Shaggy, En Vogue, Clay Walker, 38 Special, Smash Mouth, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Con Funk Shun, The Tubes, LeAnn Rimes and WAR. Popular tribute bands include Boys of Summer (Eagles,) Queen Nation (Queen,) Purple Reign (Prince,) Journey Revisited (Journey) and Super Diamond (Neil Diamond.)

    Ticket prices vary by show & section and include Fair admission. Tickets for some shows are available now, with additional shows to go on sale each week. Visit for more concert information.

    No Bull – They’re Back!  The Fair’s Opening Day Cattle Drive, where real-life cowboys and cowgirls guide a mighty herd of steers through Downtown Pleasanton returns for an encore.  The event will start at Del Valle Avenue and head on to Main Street at approximately 10:30AM on Friday, June 15. Once again, select downtown restaurants and retailers will be giving away free Fair tickets while supplies last and the Museum on Main will provide fun activities for kids. Wild West Weekend festivities will continue at the Fair through Sunday.

    The Fair will offer three popular “Racing & Tasting” events this year – a different one each weekend:

    • Red, White & Craft Brew Fest – Saturday, June 23
    • Sip, Savor & Wager Wine Festival – Saturday, June 30
    • Craft Cocktail Festival – Saturday, July 7

    All events are held at the Stella Artois Grandstand infield track from 2PM to 5PM and offer unlimited sampling, live horse racing & wagering, food, lawn games and more. Tickets are available soon through the Fair’s website. Must be 21 or older.

    Fair Foodies can be found at SNACKDOWN FRYday, where the Fair’s own food vendors roll out their most outrageous new creations to compete for the prized championship belt. KCBS’ Foodie Chap, Liam Mayclem hosts the popular live event on Friday, June 22 at 2PM at the Fair’s Grandstand Stage. Snack seekers will also enjoy $2 Fair Food Bites when fun-sized servings of select Fair treats will be offered for just two bucks — every Thursday from 11AM to 5PM.

    More highlights:

    • Live horseracing returns to the Fairground’s historic racetrack on Opening Day, June 15 for 15 full days: June 15-17, 21-24, 28-30, July 1, 4, 6-8.
    • Monster Truck, Demolition Derby and Extreme Rodeo all return to the Action Sports Arena, with a different show featured each weekend. Extreme Freestyle Motocross (FMX) shows run daily. Select premium seats are available for purchase for Monster Trucks and Demolition Derby (tickets include Fair admission.) See website for details coming soon.
    • The Fair celebrates Father’s Day on Sunday, June 17, with free admission for dads until 5PM.
    • Festival Latino with Univision returns on Sunday, June 24 with live music, dancing, entertainment, games and more.
    • The Junior Livestock Auction will be held on Sunday, July 8 at 8AM at the Livestock Pavilion.
    • Fair Favorites will be back including exhibits, animals, food, rides, games, pig races, Kids’ Park & STEAM Weekends, special event days and more.

    For more information including schedules, Discount Days and concert & special event ticket info, visit the Fair’s website at  Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer additional information, previews, updates, contests and giveaways.


    2018 Alameda County Fair Information

    Dates: June 15-July 8  (Closed June 18-19, 25-26, July 2-3)

    Hours: 11AM-11PM daily

    Carnival Hours: Wed-Thurs 12PM to closing, Fri-Sun 11AM to closing

    Horse Racing: June 15-17, 21-24, 28-30, July 1, 4, 6-8

    Big O Tires FREE Concerts: 8PM-9:15PM nightly. Fireworks show immediately following at Concert Lawn.

    Special Pre-Fair Pricing* (until 6/14/18):

    *Purchase in advance (before June 15) and save up to 33%

    • Adults (13-61) — $12 / $15 at gate
    • Seniors (62+) — $8 / $10 at gate
    • Kids (6-12) — $8 / $10 at gate
    • Children under 6 – FREE
    • General Parking — $8 / $10 at gate
    • Unlimited Carnival Wristbands — $28 / Wed-Thurs $30, Fri-Sun & July 4, $35 at gate
    • Carnival Fast Pass – NEW! Any single day $10 (same at gate)
    • Sky Ride – NEW! $5 one-way, $8 round-trip (same at gate)
    • Season Pass (admission for all 18 days and discounts on events) — $40
    • Fun Pack (4 general admission tickets and 1 parking pass) — $50


    • Opening Day: June 15 – $1 Admission, $1 Rides, UNTIL 5PM
    • Father’s Day: June 17 – Dads FREE until 5PM
    • $2 Fair Food Bites (Thursdays): June 21 & 28, July 5 — Select fun-sized Fair treats for just $2 each, UNTIL 5PM
    • Kids FREE Thursdays (12 and under): June 21 & 28, July 5, UNTIL 5PM
    • Boomers FREE Fridays (62+): June 22, 29 & July 6, UNTIL 5PM
    • Clothing Drive for Foster Kids: June 20 — Bring a brand new child’s clothing item and receive FREE admission & $1 rides – UNTIL 5PM
    • Feed the Need Food Drive benefitting Alameda County Community Food Bank presented by Lucky California: June 27 — Bring 4 non-perishable food items and receive FREE admission & $1 rides) – UNTIL 5PM
    • First Responder’s Day: July 4 – Free admission with valid ID UNTIL 3PM
    • Military Appreciation — One FREE Fair admission with valid Military ID, ALL DAY, EVERYDAY

    2018 Big O Tires Concert Series:

    6/15 – Blue Oyster Cult

    6/16 – Sean Kingston

    6/17 – En Vogue

    6/20 – Clay Walker

    6/21 – 38 Special

    6/22 – Smash Mouth

    6/23 – Boys of Summer (Eagles Tribute)

    6/24 – Sir Mix-a-Lot

    6/27 – TBD

    6/28 – Con Funk Shun

    6/29 – Queen Nation (Queen Tribute)

    6/30 – The Tubes

    7/1 – Purple Reign

    7/5 – LeAnn Rimes

    7/6 – Journey Revisited (Journey tribute)

    7/7 – Super Diamond (Neil Diamond tribute)

    7/8 – WAR


    The Alameda County Fair is operated by the non-profit Fair Association without any tax funding from the government. It is ranked one of the top 50 North American Fairs and the 7th largest fair in California. The Fairgrounds is home to the oldest one-mile race track in America.

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    PLEASANTON, CA – The Western Fairs Association (WFA) and the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) have recognized Alameda County Fair with top honors for innovation and excellence in competitive exhibits, agricultural programs & communications for 2017.


    In all, the Fair took home 25 WFA Awards in its division including nine 1st place, nine 2nd place & seven 3rd place honors. Alameda County Fair was also nominated for the Merrill Award, WFA’s highest honor, for its digital marketing campaign.


    IAFE honored the Fair with 13 internationally recognized awards: four 1st place, three 2nd place and six 3rd place. Both organizations sponsor annual awards programs to recognize outstanding achievement in specific areas and to share successful ideas and programs with other fairs.


    “We are incredibly honored to be recognized within the industry for our continued efforts in making Alameda County Fair the best experience for our community each year,” said Alameda County Fairgrounds’ CEO, Jerome Hoban. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated team and look forward to more great things to come in 2018.”


    The Fair received first-place honors in the following categories:


    • Social Media Campaign




    • Digital Marketing Campaign
    • Innovative Marketing Strategy
    • Sponsorship
    • New Technology
    • Volunteer Program
    • Event within an Event
    • Interim Event
    • Collaboration


    • Electronic Newsletter (E-blast)
    • Promotional Poster
    • Promotional Display Piece
    • Promotional Event


    The Fair received additional awards in a variety of categories for competitive exhibits, contests, agricultural programming & events, advertising, marketing, communications, sponsorship, guest services, non-profits, and community outreach.


    Venues Today consistently ranks Alameda County Fair among the Top 50 Fairs in North America.





    2018 Alameda County Fair — June 15 -July 8. Enjoy extreme live Action Sports shows, big name concerts and Live Horse Racing. For more information and schedules, visit


    The Fair is successfully operated by the Alameda County Agricultural Fair Association, a 501(c)3, non-profit organization, without any tax funding from the government.


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2017 Press Releases

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