2018 California State Fair Celebrates Many First-Ever Moments

California State Fair Release  |  2018-08-09

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top enjoying the wildlife. They headlined the fair playing at Papa Murphy’s Park in front of a packed crowd.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Fair has wrapped up our 2018 season, which featured the theme “Don't Miss A Moment.” As we reflect upon the 17 days of the Fair, which ran from July 13-29, we celebrated many first-ever moments that happened on the CA State Fairgrounds. The California State Fair is a place where memories are made which represents the best of what California has to offer; both nationally and globally.

“The CA State Fair has enormous roots as a beacon of the achievements of Californians and our multicultural threads,” said Rick Pickering, CEO of the California State Fair. “We measure success by the many positive experiences of our fairgoers and our competitors.” Judging by all of the experiences listed below, the 2018 California State Fair was a huge success.

When it comes to competitions, the CA State Fair was proud to showcase culture and host its inaugural statewide youth mariachi competition. Ten ensembles throughout the state were invited to compete, ranging from first graders to college students, and our judges represented some of the strongest mariachi talent in California, including celebrity judge, Anthony Gonzalez, the voice behind Miguel in Disney’s Coco. In the end, Mariachi Tesoro de San Fernando (Los Angeles County) won first place and as part of their reward they played on stage with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán to a sold out crowd. For a complete list of the winners, prizes, and competitors click here.

One heartwarming first, that we are especially proud of, was the SMUD Cares at the Fair Giving Monday. The CA State Fair partnered with local utility company SMUD and the Elk Grove Food Bank, each Monday of the Fair, to restock the empty food shelves that are common during the summer months. Fairgoers donated nearly 29,000 lbs. of food to help feed hungry families served by the Elk Grove Food Bank. In exchange for the food items the Fair provided free admission to the donors.

There were plenty of first-ever exhibits as well. Silent Disco was a popular “Cool Spot” to visit in Expo Center. Over 26,000 fairgoers danced with headphones to the songs of their choice, creating memories, and taking lots of selfies in the process. Tiny Homes were showcased during the first weekend at the Fair to a large, interested crowd. In the California Building, fairgoers enjoyed the new Life’s Big Ag-Venture game and the National Geographic exhibit, The Future of Food, which visually explained how California helps feed the world. Also sprinkled throughout the fairgrounds were selfie stations for guests to capture their best pics for social media.

Other firsts happened over at Papa Murphy’s Park, which included concerts and being the new home of the CA State Fair Cornhole Championship on the final day of Fair. The S.M.O. Tour, Kidz Bop Live 2018 and ZZ Top with special guest George Thorogood and The Destroyers were the first three concerts held on the sports field during the CA State Fair's 17 day run. Before his July 26 performance, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons toured the fairgrounds and got up-close to some of the CA State Fair's furriest animals.

Food and drinks saw their share of firsts too. There were six new food vendors for Fairgoers to enjoy. The Speakeasy Whiskey Lounge was a new site that was home to live music and a chance to use a secret word (hence the term “speakeasy”) to get a special drink made. Over in the California Building, The Taste of California Experience Classes expanded to give fairgoers knowledge about wine, cheese, olive oil, and honey.

To help battle the heat of July, the CA State Fair made a conscious effort to help our guests find relief by creating 20 "Cool Spots." These were either air conditioned buildings, fans with misters, full body misters, and shaded areas where a mobile device could be charged. As another way to stay cool and pay homage to the Oscar-nominated film “Lady Bird,” the Fair offered the “Lady Bird Experience Package” which was admission and unlimited rides on the “Log Ride.”

 The Carnival area, which is operated by Butler Amusements, had some firsts of its own. The CA State Fair held its first-ever “Gender Reveal” on the giant Ferris Wheel (It was a girl!). Butler Amusements was also excited to announce it had its three largest ride days ever (including all the fairs and festivals they attend) during the last two Saturdays and final Sunday of the CA State Fair.

There were other great community outreach firsts too. The Rescue Dog Dive Day with Splash Dogs had 39 rescue dog participants; with the prize money being donated to a local animal shelter and two dogs adopted. Out At The Fair also became an official CA State Fair event this summer for the final day; featuring Out At The Races and a Diva Drop bungee-jump.

During Sacramento Navy Week, Admiral Scott Jones and CEO Pickering joined together in a touching wreath laying at Cal Expo's 9/11 Memorial. This was even more significant because Admiral Jones grew up in Sacramento. The Cal Expo Police Department also connected with the CA State Fair community in a new and unique way. Most nights of the Fair, the public was able to feed the police horse and canines, or sit on one of the police motorcycles.

The 2018 California State Fair becomes a mini-city each day, and highlights the best of what California has to offer. Attendance ranged from 20,000 to 60,000 a day for a total of 572,250 this year. Extreme heat for 9 days of the CA State Fair contributed to a decrease overall in attendance; with guests spending over $8.5 million in food and drink purchases. While county fairs celebrate their local communities, the CA State Fair showcases the achievements of people state-wide. This year competitors entered the Fair from 57 of California's 58 counties. Since many of the young competitors and exhibitors at the Fair can only travel to Sacramento in the summer, when they are not in school, the CA State Fair is held in July. We want to thank everyone who attended this year and extend an invitation to come out to the 2019 California State Fair.

Source: California State Fair

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - As many as 17 large wildfires are burning in California, destroying homes and other structures, forcing thousands of people from their homes. The American Red Cross is on the ground, providing shelter, relief supplies and comfort for those affected.

Over the weekend the Mendocino Complex Fire grew to 267,000 acres and is only 33 percent contained. The fire has destroyed 130 structures, including 67 homes. It is now the fourth largest wildfire in state history. The Carr Fire has burned 160,000 acres and is 43 percent contained. The sixth most destructive fire in California history, the fire has destroyed more than 1,500 structures, including 1,080 homes. The Ferguson Fire, which has closed Yosemite National Park, has burned more than 89,000 acres.

Large wildfires are also burning in Washington and Oregon where Red Cross disaster workers are providing shelter for those affected.

In California, more than 1,000 Red Cross disaster workers and nine emergency response vehicles are responding to the fires. The Red Cross has more than 20 shelters open and has provided more than 6,700 overnight shelter stays. Red Cross workers have also provided more than 73,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 18,200 relief items. Health and mental health disaster workers have provided more than 6,100 services and caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people to assist them in getting the help they need.

As evacuation orders are lifted in some areas and people return home, the Red Cross will continue working closely with state and local officials to ensure people get the help they need.

STAY IN TOUCH People can reconnect with loved ones through both the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell and by using the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App. The Safe and Well site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand including shelter locations and severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.

HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires and countless other crisis by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37864, Boone, IA 50037-0864.

You can also help people affected by the California wildfires. Donors can designate their donation to the California wildfires relief efforts and the Red Cross will honor donor intent. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check. The Red Cross honors donor intent, and all donations earmarked for California wildfires will be used for our work to support these disasters.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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Casa Roble Football Preview

By Michael Cella  |  2018-08-09

Justin Hulshoff, Kyle Karras, Tristan Lange, Camren Gates, Riley Mazyk, Jesse Scobee, Raymond Perez, Nick Balcita, Andrew Wyandt, Dylan Boucher, Kolton Gratias, Dustin Simpliciano, Austin Ehinger, Illya Vavrenchuk. Pablo Perry, Will Turner, Robbie Squire, Elijah Johnson, Peter Povey, Jack Johnson, Connor Erickson, Gabe Williams, Logan Candido, Ryan Engle, Ruben Voznyuk, Devin Carmona.

New Field, Familiar Faces

ORANGEVALE, CA (MPG) - It’s their first year on a brand new field, but there are plenty of familiar faces at Casa Roble, who will return seventeen starters from a team that went 5-5 last year, losing in the second round of the playoffs by a single point.

All of this has varsity head coach Chris Horner feeling poised about their prospects. “We’re a football school,” says Horner of Casa, which has a student body of nearly 1300. “When our football team’s good, it just changes the feeling on campus.” After over a dozen years of experience coaching football at various other levels, this is Horner’s second year as varsity head coach.

So far, his goals for the team have extended beyond the gridiron. “I try to not just teach X’s and O’s, but make better individuals,” Horner explains. He tried to accomplish this by bringing in motivational speakers, alumni, and area college coaches every few weeks to lend a fresh perspective, as well as frequent community service activities.

Casa moves from Division 3 to Division 4 this year and will this be playing in a new league, beginning August 17 against Bella Vista, one of the most talented opponents they’ll see on the schedule. The wealth of senior leadership in the locker room has the team confident, but they know nothing is earned. They may be returning seventeen starters, but all 22 positions are always up for grabs. “Competition brings out the best,” says Horner.

To this end, Casa will bring up several sophomore standouts from a junior varsity team that went 6-3-1 last year who will challenge the upperclassmen in vying for playing time. All-conference stars Ruben Bonyz, Devin Carmona, Jack Johnson, Luke Triplett, Elijah Johnson and Connor Ericksen are all pegged as team leaders, but Casa is always looking for new talent.

The defense returns nine starters, led by a stout linebacking corps, which Horner sees as the strength of the team. But with the offense returning eight starters, the team can lean on a balanced approach without any glaring weaknesses.

This being Horner’s second year at coach, it’s the first year he’s been able to implement an offseason training program, which has him feeling good about his team’s physicality. “Our linemen are starting to look really strong,” Horner stated.

Whatever their prospects, Horner is most proud of the dynamic he’s already seen in his locker room. “I think we’ve created an environment where these guys all genuinely like each other,” says Horner. “There aren’t a lot of cliques, everyone just gets along.” They’ve already cut the roster from 62 to 48 and making the team has as much to do with attitude as it does with talent. “We get rid of cool guys,” Horner says. “We keep team guys. My guys are integral members of the campus but we try to bring them down a notch, hold them accountable, and make them better young men.”

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Evening of Fun Raises Funds

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2018-08-09

Kim Mordecai (center) provides fabulous face and body painting.

Oakmont Carnival Benefits Alzheimer’s Research

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - On the evening of Thursday, July 26, Oakmont of Fair Oaks hosted a carnival-themed event to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. The fun-filled fundraiser featured food, games and entertainment.

Attendees enjoyed a face painting station, watching the creation of extravagant balloon animals and bidding in the silent auction. The Songbird Trio provided the evening’s musical entertainment, and they wowed the crowd with popular tunes such as Johnny Cash’s “Walk the Line.”

Oakmont’s culinary team provided a sumptuous sampling of sweet and savory treats. The offerings included classic carnival fare with elegant upgrades, such as homemade corndogs, lobster rolls, Mexican-style street corn, sliders, caramel corn and funnel cakes. Residents and guests of all ages tried their luck at the games—ring toss, balloon darts, cornhole, fish bowls and ducks in a pond. The event also featured a bouncy castle and a 3-hole golf putting course.

The proceeds of the event will directly benefit the Alzheimer’s Association’s most well-known charitable event: Walk to End Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are currently living with the disease, and it is the sixth largest cause of death in the United States. Oakmont is an assisted living and memory care facility and many of their residents are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Laura Abono, marketing and event coordinator for Oakmont of Fair Oaks, said, “A good portion of our residents are affected by it, so it really hits home here.”

Proceeds will go toward funding research on remedies that can ease the symptoms of the disease and, hopefully, to eventually find a cure. Alzheimer’s research has already made progress, finding that musical therapy can be extremely effective.

Oakmont of Fair Oaks, located at 8484 Madison Avenue, is a new facility that just opened in June 2018. Although they have only been open for a short time, they are already almost at full capacity. “It shows how much work we’ve put in, and how much we want to help the residents,” said Abono.

Oakmont facilities in the surrounding areas of Carmichael, Folsom and Roseville are also hosting fundraising events throughout the summer to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

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FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - The Fair Oaks Village Enhancement Committee along with Beers In Sacramento are sponsoring “not a typical taco festival” in Fair Oak Village’s Plaza Park on Saturday, August 11, from 12 noon to 8 pm.

This free family event is dog friendly and will be featuring Sacramento’s best taco vendors, multiple beer trailers (craft beer, domestic, and imported), a full service margarita bar, an interactive kids area, mariachi bands & more!

Plaza Park is located at 10219 Fair Oaks Boulevard in the heart of old Fair Oaks Village.   For more information about this event, please visit the Fair Oaks Taco Fiesta website.  To learn about the Fair Oaks Village Enhancement Committee, please visit the group’s Facebook page at this link.


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Former Athletics and Giants pitcher to make an appearance for River Cats game on August 10

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Former Sacramento River Cats, Oakland Athletics, and San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito will be at Raley Field on Friday, August 10, 2018 to sign autographs for fans and throw the ceremonial first pitch.

The River Cats will host a pregame VIP meet and greet with Zito, which will include those who have purchased a Giant Pack. He will also be available for autographs on the concourse after throwing out the first pitch.

Barry Zito began the 2000 season with the River Cats, the franchise's first year in Sacramento, and made his Major League debut that same year with the Oakland Athletics. Zito spent seven seasons with the Athletics before signing with the San Francisco Giants after the 2006 season. Two World Championships highlighted his seven seasons with the Giants. Zito was a member of the Nashville (Triple-A Oakland) roster in 2015 and pitched six shutout innings at Raley Field during the team's series against Sacramento that year.

The fan-favorite Giant Pack includes a Senate level seat for each of the 13 biggest River Cats games of 2018 and is available for just $299 (an $800 value). Fans who purchase the package are also guaranteed premium giveaway items for the 2018 season, including a limited edition Madison Bumgarner Sactown jersey t-shirt. A full list of included game dates is available online at rivercats.com.

Giant Pack buyers will also receive exclusive access to a presale for the 2018 exhibition game on March 24 at Raley Field between the Sacramento River Cats and the San Francisco Giants. Presale date has not yet been determined.

For more information, please call the River Cats ticket hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487) or email tickets@rivercats.com.

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Coast is Clear in Mendocino County

By Visit Mendocino   |  2018-08-08

Celebrate National Motorcycle Week (August 14-20, 2018) on Mendocino’s scenic Highway 1. Photo courtesy Visit Mendocino County

MENDOCINCO, CA (MPG) - Tourism to Mendocino County remains 100 percent operational with all major highways, lodging and attractions unaffected despite the flank of wildfires located in the region’s wilderness areas, according to Visit Mendocino County.  As of August 8, 2018 only six percent (6%) of the Ranch Fire is located within Mendocino County.  www.VisitMendocino.com.

Northern California’s crown jewel, comprising 4,000 sq., miles -- roughly the size of Delaware, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia combined – reports that its 90 miles of Pacific coastline, 11 wine appellations and inland tourism areas are open for business.  The Mendocino Complex Fire remains in a remote wilderness region 60+ miles east of the coastal destinations of Fort Bragg and Mendocino.  

California Scenic Highway 1 and Mendocino’s “Inspiration Highway” 101 welcome visitors, along with the county’s 450+ hotel properties and 90+ wine tasting venues.  Key tourism sites including the cities of Ukiah, Hopland and Willits as well as the nearby attractions of the City of 10,000 Buddhas, Ridgewood Ranch (home of Seabiscuit), the Skunk Train, Vichy and Orr Hot Springs and the ancient redwood forests of Montgomery Woods State Reserve remain untouched.  

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