San Mateo County Fair has swift swine, best pies, more 

click to enlarge San Mateo County Fair
  • Courtesy photo
  • Entertainment at this year’s San Mateo County Fair, which opens Saturday, includes pig races and a carnival, as well as county fair classics such as contests and art displays.
Racing pigs — pint-sized porkers jumping over obstacles and careening around racetracks at speeds up to 15 mph — are among the many popular attractions at this year’s San Mateo County Fair.

And fairgoers can rest assured that the cute competitors, being prized athletes, won’t be destined for dinner plates, according to spokeswoman Sandra Evans.

Opening Saturday, the San Mateo County Fair, now in its 80th year at the San Mateo County Event Center, offers a dizzying variety of food, music, art and carnival rides for all ages. Nine days of festivities also feature concerts by legendary rockers and cover bands, technology demonstrations, and daily contests in which youths and adults vie for best of show in categories ranging from horticulture to home economics to robotics.

Technology and do-it-yourself exhibits hosted by Digital Monkey School teach kids to use tools like Photoshop to create their own art. Evans says one wildly popular tech activity last year gave children the opportunity to disassemble a Xerox machine.

On the music front, concerts at 7:30 p.m. every day span a broad spectrum of genres. Acts include Australian soft-rock duo Air Supply, R&B singer-songwriter Brian McKnight, funk-fusion innovators War, Southern rockers the Marshall Tucker Band, and Super Diamond, a Bay Area-bred Neil Diamond cover band that even was the subject of a question on the game show “Jeopardy!”

At 2 p.m. June 14, artist Phillip Press will sign copies of “Matwa Finds a Brother,” a children’s book he illustrated that was written by his friend Matt Geis. Press, an artist with autism whose lifelong obsession with African wildlife is reflected in pen-and-ink drawings, got a boost last year at the fair when his art work won an award; he went on to sell two pieces.

Evans recommends using the fair’s mobile app, which features a map of the fairgrounds and keeps visitors current on when and where events are happening.

“The app is going to be very helpful,” Evans said, “especially for parents.”

To download the app, search iTunes or Google Play for “2014 San Mateo County Fair,” and look for the happy pig icon.


San Mateo County Fair

Where: San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo

When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday through June 15, except opens at noon Monday, Wednesday and June 12-13

Tickets: $8 to $10 per day; $25-$30 pass; $30 wristband for carnival rides


Note: Carnival is open until 11 p.m.


Saturday – Pink Floyd LaserSpectacular

Sunday – Air Supply

Monday – Evolution, Journey tribute

Tuesday – Brian McKnight

Wednesday – All You Need Is Love, Beatles tribute

June 12 – War

June 13 – Super Diamond

June 14 – Marshall Tucker Band

June 15 – Dia de la Feriia

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