Sacramento State Fair Shows and Events 2016
by Alex Cosper, August 12, 2016

The 2016 California State Fair at Cal Expo in Sacramento did not attract the record crowd from the previous year, as state fair officials blamed the heatwave and shootings on national TV as reasons for the decline. Total attendance for the 17 day event in July was 673,237, according to the Sacramento Bee. That was a 14% decline from the previous year, which had a total attendance of 787,833.

While it's conceivable that the drop off was due to mass shootings and hot temperatures about 100 degrees, it's more likely that state fair attendance statistics bobble up and down each year based purely on chance. The State Fair has never been regarded as an attraction that draws people from all over the world, or even the state. It's mainly the biggest event each year for Sacramentans. It rarely has a show, exhibit or ride that becomes a buzz on the streets.

Two of the fair's top concert acts, Chaka Khan and Salt-N-Pepa cancelled before their show dates. The concert line-up on the Golden One Stage was pretty the same theme that it's been for years, which is to book oldies acts - whether they still had the same lead singers or not - mixed with tribute acts that do all covers. Tony! Toni! Tone! replaced Salt-N-Pepa.

This year's musical performers included Styx, Journey Revisited, Tower of Power, CCRevisited without John Fogerty, Queen Nation, Natchbox Twenty Too and Don Felder.

One of the ways the State Fair needs to improve is to put more emphasis on organic food. Since it's a booming market that owes much of its success to the Golden State, efficient organic farming methods should be a big issue at the fair. It might not be the type of attraction to boost attendance levels, but it would give the event more meaning. Otherwise, it tends to be a huge commercialized event that doesn't really turn much of a profit.

Interestingly, attendance for the California Mid-State Fair in late July, which lasted 12 days, was only down about 2 percent at Paso Robles Event Center near San Luis Obispo, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Total attendance was 421, 231 over hot days in which temperatures ranged from 92 to 107 degrees. On five of the twelve dates temperatures exceeded 105 degrees. The biggest event was country singer Blake Shelton, who drew a crowd of 14,875 on July 23 at Chumash Grandstand Arena. It was the largest crowd in history to see a show at the venue.

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