Local groups, celebrity bands, hands-on tech projects, and yes, even pig races.
This year's San Mateo County Fair has entertainment of all shapes and sizes. It all starts this Saturday, June 9, and it doesn't stop 'till the gates close on June 17.
, and here's all the details for the many types of entertainment you'll find at this year's fair.
THE VERIZON WIRELESS CONCERT SERIES
All Concerts Begin at 7:30 p.m.
Want to ensure you have the best seat in the house to any or all of these concerts? A Gold Circle Ticket for $30 gets you a private entrance into the concert through the Expo Hall, a custom lanyard with Gold Circle credentials, easy access to a full bar with food, and preferred seating. Gold Circle Tickets to any concert are available online.
The Pointer Sisters - June 9. This iconic, all-female pop group almost needs no introduction. If you've listened to the radio at all in the past 30 years, you've heard them. Their smash hit songs like "I'm So Excited" have made them household names, taking them all the way from their West Oakland roots to the stages of the world. See Ruth, Anita and June in person on the first night of this year's County Fair.
Foghat - June 10. A British band that had its peak success in the mid to late '70s, their music is best described as "blues rock" or "boogie rock." Their biggest claim to fame of late is that Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta sang their song "Slow Ride" on American Idol on May 5.
Boyz II Men - June 12. The County Fair's biggest draw this year is this four-time Grammy-winning rhythm-and-blues group, known for its incredible harmonies. With more than 60 million recordings sold over their long career, Boyz II Men are once again hitting stages across the country to promote their new album, Twenty, produced by famed Idol judge Randy Jackson.
Tower of Power - June 13, 14. Back by popular demand, Tower of Power is one of the most popular County Fair bands of all time, packing the seats with no room to spare for several years in a row, performing their own unique brand of "urban soul" music. The musicians of Tower of Power have performed with some of the top names in the industry, such as Elton John, Sting, Santana, Huey Lewis and more.
Evolution - June 15. If you're a big fan of Journey, then Evolution is the next best thing. This Bay Area-based Journey tribute band has earned itself quite a following, and even the blessing of the members of the original Journey, who have been known to join them on stage from time to time.
Night Ranger - June 16. This 80's power-rock band is one of the iconic of its kind. Having played more than 2,500 shows and sold more than 17 million records worldwide, Night Ranger are the real deal. Their latest album, Somewhere in California, was just released last summer.
This year's County Fair will also feature several Spanish musical groups, including Dia de La Feria, Sonora Tropicana, Beatriz Adriana featuring B.A. Solis, and K-Paz de la Sierra.
COMMUNITY STAGE PERFORMANCES
There are far too many community performances for Patch to list in this article, but that doesn't mean you should forget about some of the incredible local acts that are slated to perform on smaller stages placed throughout the fair. The Budlight Brews and Blues Stage and the Wells Fargo Community Stage are jam-packed with nearly 100 acts that range from singer-songwriters, to large rock and funk bands, to local groups like hip-hop dance troupes and cheerleaders.
Visit the fair's website to see a complete schedule of acts on each stage. To locate a particular stage, see the map of the fair's layout included in the photos section of this article.
HAM BONE PIG RACES
The names of the racing pigs are reason enough to check out this event. Come see swines like Claudia VanHam and Arnold Schwarzenpigger go for the gold - or rather, the Oreo, as that's the prize the winning pig in each race receives - in the County Fair's pig races, produced by Ham Bone Express, all the way from Arkansas. Audience members are encouraged to act as "cheerleaders" for their preferred pig, and the cheerleader of the winning pig wins a prize as well. (Note: the racing pigs are examined by a veterinarian every 30 days and the race organizers say them comply with all USDA Animal Welfare laws and regulations.)
HANDS-ON TECHNOLOGY ACTIVITIES
One of them most popular new features of the County Fair in recent years is the New Technology department. Each day, there are several hands-on technology projects and demonstrations youth are invited to participate in. Below is a schedule. Visit the fair's official website for more information.
12-1:30 p.m.: Making Paper Towers
2:30-4 p.m.: Penny Boats
4:30-5 p.m.: Earthquakes
6:30-8 p.m.: Paper Towers or Penny Boats
June 9 @ 5 p.m.: From Pencil Drawing to Digital Painting in PhotoShop
June 10 @ 2p.m.: Video Gaming: Creation of custom models and levels in Smash-World
June 11 @ 2 p.m.: Create Character Animation in PhotoShop
June 12 @ 1 p.m.: Modeling and Animation for kids in 3D Studio Max
June 13 @ 2 p.m.: Create Character Animation in PhotoShop
June 14 @ 2 p.m.: Bring Your Inner Artist Out with Digital Collage in PhotoShop
June 15 @ 3 p.m.: Video Gaming: Creation of Custom Models and Levels in Voxatrone
June 16 @ 5 p.m.: Video Gaming: Introduction to Creation of 2-D Games with Gamemaker
June 17 @ 2 p.m.: Video Gaming: Creation of Custom Models and Levels in Smash-World
For more information about the County Fair, visit the official website.