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Know Before You Go

General Information

Tickets are digital and contactless. All Fair tickets are sold online or at the Gates via an Alameda County Fair Kiosk.
**Carnival wristbands are sold online through June15 only. During Fair, Carnival wristbands, will only be sold through a Butler Carnival Kiosk inside the Fairgrounds.  To enter the Parking Gates, Admission Gates or special events show your QR code for contactless admission via your mobile device or printed.


Credit and debit cards and pre-purchased mobile tickets are accepted in our parking lots. Cash is not accepted. Parking Gate 8 does have a cash-to-card machine.

  • Parking is contactless. Purchase ahead and SAVE time as well as speed up the line.
  • Or trade cash-for-a-card at Parking Gate 8. These cards can be used just like a credit card for parking, admission tickets, food, etc…in or outside the Fair where credit cards are accepted. 


  • Pre-purchase with a credit or debit card. There is no Will Call.
  • Credit and debit cards are accepted at the gates by scanning a QR code or visiting a kiosk
  • Save time and buy before you arrive.
  • Have cash? Trade cash for a Cash Card by the ticket booth Kiosk. These cards can be used for admission tickets, food or outside the Fair where credit cards are accepted. Do not use these cards at the Carnival Kiosks where cash can be inserted into the Kiosk. 

Food & Beverage

Most purchases are cashless using the system the food vendor chooses:

  • Purchase food with a credit or debit card.
  • Or use a Cash Card Kiosk – if you have cash, visit a Kiosk by the Fairground Gates to exchange cash for a card to purchase tickets or food. 

Live Horse Racing

Mutuel Tellers for live racing betting located in the Grandstand are cash only. ATM’s are in the Grandstand to conveniently pull cash.


Fast & easy, when visiting the Carnival, rides and games are contactless, but you may purchase tickets and wristbands with cash or credit cards in the Carnival areas, here’s how:

  • Carnival Kiosks take both cash and credit cards.
  • Purchase unlimited one-day ride wristbands, which include the Sky Ride, or individual tickets at the Carnival Ticket Booths via a Kiosk. Both will be in the form of a wristband.
  • Purchase reloadable ride and game cards at the Carnival Kiosks.
  • Starting June 16 the Carnival wristband advance sale ends and you will not longer be able to purchase online. All Fair time carnival tickets will only be sold at a Butler Carnival Kiosk in the Carnival areas and at full price.

Fair is Contactless, Skip the Lines

For the safety of our guests, the Fair is contactless again this summer. There will be no Will Call, Advance Purchase booth or Fair time person-run ticket booths. Purchase your admission and parking tickets online at home or on your mobile device. At the Fairgrounds, there will be kiosks at the Admission Gates to purchase tickets, if you do not have a mobile device. Guests who have a ticket can skip the ticket lines and go right to the security line! The Carnival area also has contactless kiosks, however, those can take both credit cards and cash.

Directions and Process

  • Download your ticket to your mobile device before arriving. Show your ticket – printed or on a mobile device (to keep line moving, please have it ready at the gates).
  • Pre-purchase your Parking pass before arriving to keep the lines moving.
  • Getting here – for information on directions, parking locations, BART schedules, Wheels Bus schedules, plus the locations of VIP parking lots, visit the Getting Here page under Guest Services.

Health & Safety Entry Policy

  • The Fairgrounds follows the current State and County Health Orders. For more information, click here.
  • Pets and therapy animals are not permitted on the Fairgrounds per health orders. Service Animals only.
  • No smoking while on the Fairgrounds.

Daily Schedule

  • The Fair will be open 12pm -11pm Wednesday – Sunday plus July 3. On July 4 the hours are 12pm – 8pm. Full Schedule
  • Special Events
      • Horse Racing – Friday-Sunday & Tuesday, July 4 – visit here
      • Nightly Movies at 6pm – for details – visit here
      • Big O Tires Concert Series at 8pm – visit here
      • Nightly Drone Show at 9:30pm – visit here
      • Fireworks & Drone Show (no show on July 4) – visit here
      • Fair Festivals – visit here
      • Wine & Brew Fests  – visit here
      • Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out Fun Run – visit here
      • $3 Fair Food Bite Thursdays & Food Finder – visit here

Find My Order

If you purchased tickets and cannot find your order, visit our Find My Order tool, click here. Or check your email, your tickets deliver to the email used when purchasing.

For more information, please read the FAQs.


Allowed & Prohibited Items

Entry Policy