County of Marin - News Releases - County Fair Competitive Exhibits

For Immediate Release
March 22, 2016

Competitive Exhibits Open for 2016 County Fair

New categories include Fair Memories and Time Capsules

San Rafael, CA – Calling all talented, artistic, technologically savvy, green-thumbed, and creative people: The exhibit categories are now open to the public for the 2016 Marin County Fair, 75 Years – What a Ride!

A paper mache alligator made by a child sits on a table during a past County Fair.The competitive exhibits help give localized flair to the Marin County Fair.
The Marin County Fair is a five-day community celebration from June 30 through July 4 that features exhibits, family fun activities, rides, games, live performances and fireworks. Marin and Bay Area residents are encouraged to participate in the competitive exhibits, which give the fair a genuine homegrown and hometown feeling.

The deadline for submitting entry forms for most categories in this year’s fair is Thursday, May 12. Last year’s fair featured more than 800 categories, 13,500 exhibits and some 7,000 entrants in exhibits that covered everything from performing arts to baking and from fine wine to fine art.

Many families come to this fair to see their neighbors’ creativity and talents and see the latest in new fair exhibit ideas. Programs range from international short films to fine arts to chickens, tamales and quilts, just to name a few. The fair is known for offering traditional and innovative competitive student exhibit categories. 

The juried Fine Arts, Crafts and Photography Show is considered by many to be the best among the 78 fairs in California. The International Short Film & Video Festival is the only one-of-its-kind in North America at a county fair.

The Marin County Fair is often defined by buzz words of change: “cutting edge,” “out of the box,” “trend setting.”

“It’s certainly all of these things in the fair industry, an inspiring and model county fair,” said Gabriella C. Calicchio, Director of Marin County Cultural Services. “The Marin County Fair combines classic fair exhibits with innovative new ideas. Add to that one-of-a-kind events, cuisines both local and global, a welcoming staff, cultural diversity and a rich history and legacy. This is the reputation and brand that the Marin County Fair has built over the last 75 years.”

75 Years – What a Ride! celebrates more than seven decades of history, nostalgia, carnival rides, and other fair-going experiences from the very beginning. This year, the fair will reflect back on years of the beloved summer event while looking forward as a leader in the fair industry celebrating art, agriculture and community. For years, the Marin County Fair has reflected the county in all of its colorful traditions and innovations; its farm animals, family activities, popular concerts, thrilling rides, leading-edge exhibits, and spectacular fireworks displays each night have made the fair one of the Bay Area’s favorite and anticipated summer events.

2016 What a Ride! Special Fair Contests include:

  • Decorated Aprons
  • Decorated Hats & Caps
  • Decorated Parasols
  • Fair Memories
  • For the Birds!
  • Frame Up!
  • Merry-Go-Round
  • Selfies!
  • Time Capsules
  • Treasure Chests
  • What a Ride!

For information on the competitive exhibits, participation and entry forms, go to and click Competitive Exhibits. The 285-page Exhibitors’ Guide answers questions about categories and participation.

For more information about the competitive exhibit programs, contact Charlie Barboni, Fair Manager, at or 415-473-7048.


Gabriella C. Calicchio
Department of Cultural Services

Marin Center
10 Avenue of the Flags
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6400
Email: Gabriella C. Calicchio
Cultural Services Website