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Mark your calendar for a summer of county fairs around the Bay Area

The 2023 Sonoma-Marin Fair opens June 21. | Courtesy Sonoma-Marin Fair

Remember the days when your mom dropped you off at the county fair with a $20 bill and then peeled out in a cloud of dust? 

Well, those days are back—but they’re gonna cost you more than $20.

County fairs are still a fabulous way to spend a summer day—or night. With Ferris wheels, corn dogs, games on the midway, fireworks and surprisingly entertaining lineups of musical acts—who knew Blue Oyster Cult was still touring?!—it’s impossible not to have fun.

The Solano and Alameda county fairs open this weekend, and on Wednesday, the Marin-Sonoma Fair opens in Petaluma, featuring its famed “World’s Ugliest Dog” contest.

Highlights for the rest of the summer include Melissa Etheridge in Marin, monster trucks in Sonoma, dragons in Santa Clara and the 100th anniversary of the San Benito County Fair in September.

Check out the 2023 lineup below of all the county—and state—fairs rolling through the area this summer.

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