A great local tradition wraps up Sunday with the closing day of the 65th Solano County Fair.
This year’s five-day run was assisted by some fine weather. That means that the annual experience of seeing farm animals, food contests, quilts, gadgets, carnival rides and once-a-year fair food has been largely undiminished by outside influences.
That’s good news and we encourage residents who haven’t made their way to the Vallejo event to do so Sunday.
Our county fair has greatly evolved over the years, going from a two-week celebration that included horse racing to a five-day condensed event that focuses on family fun and old-school musical acts. The evolution was necessary, as cultural changes and the powerful influence of neighboring Six Flags Discovery Kingdom took away some of the luster of riding on a Ferris wheel or watching a juggler.
A continued emphasis on old-school musical groups – this week featured Little Anthony and the Imperials, Con Funk Shun, Los Lobos and The Guess Who, leading up to Sunday’s performance by Graciela Beltran and Banda La Movida – has been a success and the continued outreach to the county’s agricultural programs helps make it work.
Add to that such kid-friendly offerings as pig races, a petting zoo and pony rides and you have the recipe for success, albeit on a limited, smaller scale than a few decades ago.
It’s easy to knock county fairs in the 21st century – they can appear old-fashioned and behind the times. But the Solano County Fair proves that there’s still a place for an annual event where you can see livestock, observe local art, learn about regional cities, watch classic musical acts, take carnival rides and eat food available nowhere else.
The fairgrounds site has been the topic of much debate over future development and it’s unclear what it will look like for its 75th anniversary. This year’s Solano County’s Fair shows that it has changed, but we’re proud to say it still is worth attending.