The COVID-19 pandemic’s long tail has scuttled the Santa Clara County Fair’s plans — first announced in March — for a drive-thru event this summer. Instead, this year’s fair will focus on livestock exhibitions under the “Ag-Venture!” banner when it opens Friday.
That means no cotton candy and giant corn dogs, magic shows, square dancing or carnival rides. But the fairgrounds — which is still being used for COVID-19 testing and vaccination — will still have plenty to see. FFA and 4-H youth with exhibit animals during July 30-Aug. 7 run, including dairy cattle, goats, dogs, rabbits, sheep and hogs. (Check out the county fair’s Facebook page for the daily schedule.)
The Livestock Auction will be a hybrid event on Aug. 7. Animals will be auctioned live at the fairgrounds on Tully Road, with the event live-streamed as well.
Competitive exhibits including photography, quilts, art projects and baked goods will be displayed in the Fiesta Hall, along with Little Hands on the Farm, a longtime favorite kids’ activity. The Santa Clara County Homebrew competition is also returning after a two-year hiatus, with judging scheduled to take place July 31, and the “best of show” winner invited to brew their beer at San Jose’s Clandestine Brewing.
The fair’s heritage exhibit is also back, with more memorabilia and historical artifacts than the original incarnation in 2019. That includes photos of the State House replica, the installation of the fairgrounds’ iconic arch and lots of items featuring the longtime symbols of the fair, the Cheery Farmer and the Happy Farmer (The Cheery Farmer may have switched to the Happy Farmer after he sold the family orchard for millions to developers.)
Marcella Gulmon, who curated the heritage exhibition, said it was set up early so a virtual tour could be created, but it also will be open for in-person viewing from noon to 6 p.m. every day during the fair’s run.
“The virtual tour is a terrific sneak peak at what is in the exhibit and allows those who can’t come to the fair to see the history,” she said. “Hopefully, the virtual tour encourages them to come for an in person viewing.”
CONCERT FOR CLIMATE: Students from Bay Area pianist and music teacher Jinye Wang’s Raincat Studios have banded together for “Trebled Earth,” a concert in Saratoga on July 31 to raise money to fight climate change.
The students, who range in age from 8-16, were involved in all the aspects of planning the concert, from researching the issues and creating a website to reaching out to the Environmental Defense Fund, which will be the beneficiary of the proceeds and donations from the concert.
The 3:30 p.m. concert at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 12770 Saratoga Ave., will feature many familiar instrumental pieces, including “Canon in D,” “Flight of the Bumblebee,” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Tickets are $20 and are available at www.trebledearth.com.
POWERFUL HISTORY: Silicon Valley Power celebrated its 125th anniversary last week, marking the day in 1896 when the Santa Clara’s board of town trustees voted to break away from the San Jose Electric Improvement Co., which had been providing light to the Mission City.