For me, it's simply not summertime without at least one county fair visit. Typically, our fair of choice is the Sonoma County Fair, but this year we decided to mix things up a bit with a trek to the Marin County Fair instead.
Overall, the fair seemed a little bit smaller than the other ones I've attended, which probably makes sense given the cost of the land in Marin County versus everywhere else. But this fair had stormtroopers, courtesy pf being in ILM/Lucas Ranch's backyard. How many other fairs can boast that? I was also seriously impressed with their culinary competitions — and I am inspired next year to enter some of my own creations. Specifically, some baked goods. Unlike many other fairs which limit entrants to the local county, Marin's are open to any California resident. Huzzah! Now to decide what to bake…
In addition to taking a gander at all the adorable farm animals, we did a serious once over of the food vendors, because fair food is serious business. As we entered, we saw a few small ubiquitous fair food vendors, including funnel cakes, but we kept moving through the crowds until we hit the permanent structure housing the "Marin Food Court." I had a hunch that much like the fairgrounds in the central valley, the permanent structures would house local ethnic and civic organizations for whom the fair was a primary annual fundraiser. And I was right!
Although there were some of the expected fair food staples, like hot dogs and hamburgers, this being Marin County, there was also a self-billed "healthy gourmet vegetarian" food stall as well. Which seemed to be where the Perry Farrell-lookalike had gotten his food from. We settled on the Greek orthodox church's gyros stand, and some lemonade from the lemonade stand. And I couldn't have been happier. Well, unless I'd had a Lagunitas Farmhouse Ale. But that's a Sonoma County Fair thing.
Overall, a nice way to pass a couple of hours. But I miss the Stanislaus County Fair's linguica. I think we may need to make that next year's fair pit stop.
You can see more pix of cute fair animals in my Marin County Fair flickr set.