Monster trucks and extreme dogs: What to look for at the Sacramento County Fair

The Sacramento County Fair is back Thursday for its 83rd year “Celebrating the Red, White and Blue.” The fair runs through Memorial Day at Cal Expo and features special events like monster trucks and bull riding.

Over 103,000 people are expected to explore the more than 150 commercial vendors, 30 food vendors and close to 5,000 exhibitors during the event, according to Pamela Fyock, CEO of the county fair. Nearly 10,000 kids will explore the fair on school tours on Thursday and Friday as well.

The fair is free for kids ages 12 and under. Adult tickets are $8, and parking costs $10. Arena events as well as the carnival and some exhibits cost extra, Fyock said.

“Once they get in, there’s over 100 free things to do at the fair from racing pigs to racing ducks,” Fyock said.

The weather looks prime for this weekend’s festivities, with mostly clear skies and highs in the low 70s forecast. Here’s a look at the shows and exhibits you won’t want to miss at this year’s fair:

  • Food: The fair includes 30 food vendors, Fyock said. Don’t miss the deep-fried chicken skin and the gold-plated ice cream, which Fyock said is not as expensive as it sounds.
  • Races: Not only will the fair hold pig races, but guests can watch ducks race, too. Look for both animal races each day of the fair east of the Elk Grove Community Stage.
  • Arena shows: Two of the most anticipated events at the fair are the monster truck show and the bull riding show. Catch 1,500-horsepower monster trucks run through obstacle courses and perform stunts at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Stars & Stripes bull-riding event will take over the arena at 7 p.m. Saturday.
  • New: The Extreme Dog Show is new to the fair this year. It features a squad of rescue dogs performing high-flying stunts, Fyock said. The dogs will perform multiple shows daily.
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