San Mateo County Times
By Aaron Kinney
SAN MATEO -- Are you ready for deep-fried Oreos, pig races -- and disaster preparedness?
The San Mateo County Fair will offer a little bit of everything, from traditional features like livestock judging and carnival rides to newer attractions, including technology exhibits and Make It In America, a showcase of companies that make their products in the United States.
The fair begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with Disaster Preparedness Day. Visitors can learn how to protect themselves when the "big one" hits, then stuff themselves at a pie-eating contest, one of several competitions that will be held throughout the fair's nine-day run.
Among the other many highlights this year are a petting zoo, a miniature rain forest stocked with animals, beer and wine-making contests and the return of Boyz II Men, who were perhaps the most popular musical act when they made their first appearance at the fair in 2009.
Make It In America is the brainchild of Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, who introduced the event in 2011 to promote American manufacturing. This year's participating companies include Boudin Bakery, Casa Sanchez, Gordon Biersch, Innovative Surgical and Mission Motorcycles, among others. Chevrolet and Ford will display electric vehicles.
"We're trying to heighten everyone's awareness of how purchasing American-made products is a good way to ensure that your next-door neighbor or your kid graduating college is more likely to find a job,"
said Speier, who claims 200,000 manufacturing jobs would be created if everyone in the country spent $64 more a year on U.S.-made products.
With summer approaching, the Bay Area fair season is about to kick into high gear. The Alameda County Fair begins June 20, followed by the Napa County Fair June 29. The Santa Clara County Fair runs Aug. 2-5.
Attendance at the 2011 San Mateo County Fair was 122,000, a 30 percent increase over the previous year and a number that compares favorably with attendance peaks over the past decade. Fair officials attributed the poor attendance in 2010 to the decision to move the fair from August to June that year, which caught some fairgoers off-guard.
If you go:
Where: San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo
When: June 9-17
Tickets and information: Visit www.sanmateocountyfair.com or call 888-798.0070
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