County of Marin - News Releases - Marin County Fair Awards

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2017

Marin County Fair Garners Distinguished Awards

2016’s 75th Anniversary Fair celebrated by Western Fairs Association

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Fair, long known for innovation and excellence, has once again earned top recognition at the Western Fairs Association Annual Achievement Awards program.

An illuminated ferris wheel spins at the County Fair, with the reflection of the lagoon in the foregroundThe Marin County Fair earned 28 awards from the Western Fairs Association.

The 2016 Marin County Fair, themed “75 Years — What A Ride,” captured 28 individual Achievement Awards (the highest number of any entrant), including two Featured Awards for innovative marketing strategy for the 75th anniversary campaign including the gift bag, souvenir glasses, online timeline, oral history showcase, special exhibit, and 75th fair gala and the award for agricultural programming for agricultural education at an urban fair.

Managed and operated by the Marin County Department of Cultural Services, the 2016 Marin County Fair also garnered 16 First Place awards, six Second Place Awards and four Third Place Awards and a nomination for the Merrill Award, the most prestigious and coveted award in the fair industry, for the partnership with SchoolsRule Marin. The Western Fairs Association program recognizes excellence in media & marketing and innovations in fair management.

“We’re extremely proud that our fair won more First Place awards and more awards overall than any other fair in the entire competition,” said Fair Manager Charlie Barboni. “We work hard all year to ensure our fair not only stands out in the industry but also reflects the values, innovation, and dedication of our own community.”

The Marin County Fair received the awards January 18 during the association’s convention in Reno, Nevada. The Western Fairs Association, a 150-member trade association representing fairs in the western United States and Canada, recognizes excellence in the fair industry at its convention and provides a forum for fairs to share successful ideas and programs.

The 76th annual Marin County Fair, themed Let The Funshine In! will be held June 30 through July 4, 2017. Visit for more information.

2016 Marin County Fair Award Winning Entries 
in annual Western Fairs Association competition

Featured Program Awards

First Place     Outstanding Achievement – Agricultural Programming

First Place     Outstanding Achievement – Fairtime Innovative Marketing Strategy or Concept

Individual Achievement Awards

                        First Place                

  • Theme Program – 75 Years – What a Ride!
  • Fair Volunteer Program
  • Event within an Event – Marin County International Festival of Short Film and Video
  • Non-Profits – Outside Collaboration – SchoolsRule! – Step Right Up!
  • Non-Profits – Internal/Benefiting Fair – Marin Cultural Association Wine & Beer Garden
  • Crisis Management (A crisis that faced the Fair & how staff handled it.) – Fireworks Barge Fire
  • Inspiring Collaborations – The Best of the IJ Lobby Lounge Concert
  • Magazine Ad – Healthy Fair Ad
  • Outdoor Advertising – Bus Backs/Bus Stops/Freeway Billboard
  • Fair Poster   
  • Interim Event Rentals Marketing Strategy/Concept – Marin Center Performances Postcards
  • Fair Program/Schedule
  • Digital Advertising – Single Ad
  • New Idea – Exhibits – Competition – Special 75th Anniversary Contests   
  • New Idea – Conservation Program or Being Green
  • New Idea – Sponsorship – Overall Fair Sponsorship Program 

Second Place           

  • Radio Advertising – Single Radio Ad  
  • Website –
  • Social Media Campaign
  • Digital Advertising – Ad Campaign (Multiple Ads)
  • New Innovative Use of Technology – Marin County Fair App
  • New Community Outreach Program – Community Media Center of Marin Oral Fair Histories 

Third Place   

  • Television Advertising – Single Television Ad
  • Guest Services – Marin Center Magazine – Fair Issue
  • Any Other Advertising Piece – 75th Anniversary Packet of Wildflower Seeds
  • Newspaper Ad


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