COWnty Fair

August 9, 2008

The San Mateo County Fair has been a county tradition for more than 70 years. The Fair runs from August 8th through the 17th and is expected to draw more than 150,000 visitors this year. The fair is fun and an inexpensive way to celebrate the rural roots of our county and Town, or just to cut loose! It will also be the last opportunity to ever see live racing at Bay Meadows as it finally will close its doors after the Fair ends.

The Fair is packed full of fun, games, and exhibits this year.Panels of experts will judge both youth and adult competitions. Youth Categories include woodworking, technology, and photography, along with Youth Livestock exhibits showing off beef cattle, sheep and chickens. We bet that the Woodside Livestock Committee will be out in force for the viewing! Adults compete in home arts, culinary arts, fine arts, and agriculture. For the equestrians among us, there will be a youth horsemanship display Saturday morning. Check out the schedule here to see what’s happening every day of the Fair.

Contests also include a classical piano youth competition, a mural contest, a spicy salsa dance competition, a robotics competition, and lots more. Our local Iron Chefs will compete in a Chili Cook-Off and a Chowder Cook-Off. A carnival midway with lots of games will be sure to delight the kids.

Speaking of kids, there’s loads of rides for both little kids and “big kids” – including a Western Train, Ferris Wheel, Drop Tower, a Merry Go Round, Tilt-a-Whirl, a Chamber of Terror, and Bumper Cars! After working up an appetite on all the rides, you can visit the Fiesta Hall for your choice of dozens of food vendors, or just wander around and check out the great artisans and shopping!

If a show is what you’re after, the Fair won’t disappoint! Along with a steel drum band that plays all day, each day of the Fair has a headlining musician. Musicians such as KC & The Sunshine Band, the Village People, Billy Ray Cyrus, “Weird Al Yankovic”, Tower or Power, and others will definitely keep you entertained.

As we mentioned above, sadly this is the last time you’ll be able to see live racing at Bay Meadows before it’s torn down. A piece of San Mateo County history dating back to the 1930s will soon be gone, and you should definitely take your chance to see the magnificent horses charging down the track at Bay Meadows. According to the Fair’s horse racing page, admission to the track is free with Fair admission if you ask for a Bay Meadows Voucher upon exiting the Fair. Bay Meadows is just a very short walking distance away from the Fairgrounds.

So celebrate history – or just have some fun – at the San Mateo County Fair this August! A chance to other COWs and see horses and cows in a great atmosphere – check it out!

San Mateo County Fair
August 8th-17th
2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA 94403

The Fair’s website ( has more details on entertainment and exhibits, as well as directions to the fairgrounds. You can also buy tickets online or at the gate. You can check out a map of the fairgrounds here.

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