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2012 Marin County Fair

The 2012 Marin County Fair has an estimated 800 categories of exhibits

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Marin County Fair: Celebrating America County Fair Traditions

June 30 through July 4, 2012

The exciting Marin County Fair in San Rafael has been a popular yearly celebration in the San Francisco Bay area since 1946. In America, agricultural gatherings first gained popularity during the early 1800s as a way for farmers to exchange important learned information about methods that could improve production. Today, agricultural fairs are designed to highlight the variety of diverse skills found in modern farming communities.

Originally, the Marin County Fair was held at the Marin Art & Garden Center. Today, the Marin County Fairgrounds is used to hold the estimated 13,500 exhibits, carnival rides, concert stages, food booths, competition areas and recreational offerings. Each year, an estimated 6,000 repeat exhibitors, and many new participants, travel from all sections of Marin County to display their animals, crop samples, baked goods, arts and local hobbies.

The 2012 Marin County Fair has an estimated 800 categories of exhibits. People of all ages can enter judged competitions to win awards and prizes. There are contests for the agriculturalists and fun-filled competitions for amateur digital photography, recycled item crafts and divisions for every type of weekend hobbyist that can be found in our San Francisco Bay communities. The official Fair competition guide is available in February.

In all areas of the 2012 Marin County Fair, an emphasis will be placed on the theme of agriculture. This year, extra prizes will be awarded in some contest areas to people who are using an agricultural theme. As an example, the song: ‘Old McDonald Had A Farm’ could possibly win more favor with the County Fair judges over non-farming selections. New County Fair themes are chosen each year to keep entries exciting for everybody.

Marin County Fair Contests, Competitions and Awards:

Individuals in all age brackets enjoy entering the serious, whimsical and talent-oriented contests at the Marin County Fair. In Marin County, there are activities and contests in place that can please all types of fairgoers. People start working to enter the Marin County Fair competitions during every month of the year. The official Fair competition guide lists categories, rules and prizes for all manner of events. This brochure is available in February; many of the contest entry forms must be returned before May 17, 2012.

Sample 2012 Fair Contests for Marin County Participants:

3rd Annual Capturing Fair Memories: When people visit the Marin County Fair on Saturday, June 30, they can enter digital photographs taken that day for prizes.

4th Annual Dog Competition – Juniors: Whenever children or young adults are taking community dog care or training classes, they can compete for dog show awards.

5th Annual Singing Stars Contest: Adults can sing songs in any format for honors. Special awards are given for agricultural-related themes.

7th Annual Plein Air Painting Competition: On the first day of the Fair, artists choose a Fair location and paint pictures in the open air for judging.

8th Annual Dancing Stars Competitions: Adults over the age of 18 can participate in competitions using any style of dance. Couples and groups welcome.

8th Annual Marin Star Search – Piano: Contestants between the ages of 5 and 19 can compete for prizes in a beautiful setting that features a real baby grand piano.

10th Annual Art Chairs: The fun-filled Art Chair competition allows local adults to create the perfect chair from scratch, or through the use of decorations.

10th Annual Hip-Hop & Break Dance Contests: Contestants are scored on creativity, technical ability and more. An audience competition is included at this event.

24th Annual Marin Star Search: This junior competition includes vocals, dance, drama, instrumentals and other formats. Cash prizes are awarded.

27th Annual Winemaking Contest: Amateur winemakers are invited to create the best tasting wines at the 2012 Marin County Fair, for prizes and awards.

40th Annual Fiddle Contest: Yee-Haw! No county fair is complete without a wild and wonderful fiddle contest. Contestants each play three speeds of music. For: all ages.

42nd Annual Film and Video Festival: It is free to enter the exciting Marin County International Film and Video Contest. Running times are less than 30-minutes.

Other types of contests include showcasing your talents against other Marin County Fair entries in:

Culinary Contests * Arts & Crafts * Barnyard Banter & Imitations * Decorating Blue Jeans * Chicken Coop Construction Projects * Clothing, Textiles & Hobbies for Adults * Creative Writing for Adults * Creative Writing for Children * Digital Media * Fine Art * Fine Crafts * Printmaking, Sculpture & Pastels * Floriculture, Horticulture & Floral Art *

Decorated Foods * Recycled Trash to Treasures * Fur, Feathers & Pocket Pet Show * Livestock Showings & Sales * Photography for Adults * Photo for Kids * Preserved Foods * Scarecrow Making * Snapshots * Whistling * Woodworking * and More!

Marin County Fair Global Marketplace – Vendor Notes:

Each year, the Marin County Fair attracts about 120,000 fairgoers that visit the Global Marketplace vendor booths. Businesses, organizations and small family-run enterprises rent booth spaces for the week-long San Francisco Bay area fair. Booth prices are set for accommodations by size, electricity use and location. If vehicles are necessary at the booth, extra fees are charged. Most vendors can expect to spend between $2000.00 and $3,000.00 for their highly visible Marin County Fair sales or merchant locations.

Marin County is well-known for being a leader in ‘green’ technologies and fashions. Eco-friendly fair booth merchandise, packages and giveaways are desirable. The Fair asks that merchants consider using paper bags that can be composted, promotional products over the paper fliers that are thrown away fast and display materials that will not harm their surroundings. All signs must be professionally made, and safety rules apply for posted signs at all times. Note: Marin County Fair has strict rules for merchants to follow.

Associations, organizations, corporations and all vendors are forbidden from displaying items that relate to drinking, smoking, drugs and other controversial activities. Vendors are not allowed to offer body piercing, permanent tattoo art or services that alter the body in any fashion beyond washable paints. Fees can be charged for each vendor-provided sticker that fairgoers attach to any Fair surface for removal. At the Marin County Fair, the merchant spaces fill fast; contact the Fair after February for the best booth options.

2012 Fireworks: June 30 through July 4

The 2012 Fair will be open each day between June 30 and July 4, 2012. At dark each night, the Marin Fair in San Rafael, California will feature a large fireworks display for fairgoers to enjoy. Through the use of a large fireworks display each night, the Fair management team is allowing local families the choice to enjoy July 4th celebrations at the Fair and also within their own communities. July 4th is on a Wednesday this year.

A Special 2012 Marin Fair Exhibit:

The 2012 Marin County Fair will celebrate the history of farming and agricultural endeavors throughout our diverse region. In the main County Fair Exhibit Hall a very special showing of M.B. Boissevain farm photography will be presented to the public. Marett Boissevain was among the first farm advisors assigned to Marin County, before the first Great Depression, to introduce new farming techniques to rural landholders.

Marett Boissevain worked through the U.C. Berkley land-grant university division in Marin County from 1920, through the early 1950s. During this time, Mr. Boissevain photographed local farms, vineyards and ranches, as well as equipment used, the family members operating agricultural spreads and local forms of off-time entertainments. A large collection of these early 4” x 5” photographs will be displayed for inspection.

Nearby to each M.B. Boissevain vintage photograph will be a modern photo that shows how the land has changed over time. Long-time Marin County residents are invited to come identify their relatives, family friends and the plots of land that are sitting under current dwellings, buildings or developments. These photos are expected to be thrilling for all Marin County Fair goers to examine. The Boissevain exhibit will be memorable.

Free Concerts!

Mickey Thomas & Starship: Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., at the Marin Play Fair Pavilion. The next Starship album release, Loveless Fascination, is set for mid-2012, near the dates of the Marin County Fair free concert. This performance should include hits from Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship and all current favorites.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts: Monday, July 2, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., at the Marin County Fair Pavilion. Rolling Stone Magazine once voted Joan Jett as one of the all-time best female guitar players. Come hear the live version of ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ for a real rocked-out treat. Joan Jett concerts are always well-liked by all rock loving age groups.

Steel Pulse: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., at the Marin Play Fair Pavilion. Steel Pulse is a well-liked reggae group that first appeared on the scene during the mid-1970s. This group is still selling signed guitars on their Website, with proceeds sent to help the displaced masses in Haiti. Steel Pulse always puts on a really great show!

The Temptations: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., free at the Marin County Play Fair Pavilion, after the cost of a general admission to the Fair ticket. Today, Otis Williams is the only original member of the Temptations that is still alive; however, fairgoers will be shocked at how great the Temptations still sound after 49 albums.

Helpful Marin County Fair Contact Information:

General Fair Information: (415) 473-6400

Commercial Exhibits and Booth Information: (415) 473-6397

Competitive Exhibits: (415) 473-7048

2012 Ticket Information: (415) 473-6800

Overnight Marin County Fair lodging can be found in nearby Sausalito, California.

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Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer
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