State Fair

Want to save money at the California State Fair? Here’s how

What you'll see at the State Fair this year (and what you'll eat)

Last year, each visitor spent about $14 on food and beverages.
Up Next
Last year, each visitor spent about $14 on food and beverages.

The California State Fair celebrates its 50th year at Cal Expo in 2017. The annual fair opens Friday and runs each day until July 30.

Looking to sample some food? There are more than 80 locations offering everything from sliders, funnel cake, corn on the cob, barbecue and more.

Want to take a ride? There are more than 60 attractions available, some just for the little ones, others for everyone.

There is all sorts of fun to be had. If you do it right, you could save some money as well. Here are some ways to cut costs at the fair this year.


The California State Fair (1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento) is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.


Parking at Cal Expo costs $15 for cars and $5 for motorcycles. Only cash is accepted. Free parking is available for bikes at the Blue Gate, Main Gate and Gate 12.


Daily adult admission is $12. Seniors 62 and older are $10. Youths ages 5-12 are $8. Children 4 and younger are free.

The fair is also offering discounts.

Tuesdays – All rides are $2, and children 12 and under get into the fair for free.

Taste of the Fair (Wednesdays and Thursdays) – All vendors will offer $2 menu specials from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fridays – Seniors 62 and older pay $8 for admission and ride free on the Grand Carousel and Giant Wheel.

July 20 – Military & Veteran Appreciation Day: Free admission for active military, reserve and veterans. Must show valid ID.

July 27 – First Responders Appreciation Day: Free admission for first responders and law enforcement. Must show valid ID.

Stay cool

Looking to beat the heat? Here are some places that can help with that.

Air-conditioned buildings

▪ California buildings A, B, C and D

▪ Expo center

▪ The Tractor Supply Co. big barn

Misted/shaded outside areas

▪ Coca-Cola Promenade (near the Main Gate)

▪ Cool Zone (near Kids Park)

▪ Forest Center


All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and are free with admission, but reserved seating is available for purchase. Click here to buy those tickets.

Some of the acts scheduled to appear are Sheila E. (July 14), Brian McKnight (July 19), Smash Mouth (July 22), Eddie Money (July 23) and Trace Adkins (July 27). The full lineup can be found here.

Can’t decide which headliner to see? Here’s a Spotify playlist to help you choose.

Additional info

For more information on the California State Fair, visit or download the free app.

California State Fair

Where: Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento

When: July 14-30. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays.

Admission: $12; seniors (age 62 and up) $10; youth (ages 5-12) $8; children age 4 and under admitted free. Parking $15. Discounts available with online ticket purchases through Thursday, July 13.


Related stories from Sacramento Bee