.Marin County Fair Soars Online

The 2020 Marin County Fair, scheduled for the first five days of July, was one of several summer events that were canceled once the Covid-19 pandemic led to shelter-in-place orders in Marin County two months ago.

Specifically, the County of Marin closed the Marin Center campus and Fairgrounds where the event is held, and are keeping the grounds reserved to serve as a resource in its response to the ongoing emergency. Fair staff have also been deployed as disaster service workers.​

While the Marin County Fair plans to fly again in-person in summer 2021, the organizers bring some of the fair’s fun to your home with a series of weekly virtual contests on their social media.

The fair knows that most residents are not able to just pop over to an art store for these contests, so the friendly competitions are meant to be done with household items and are designed to comply with the County’s shelter-in-place order with a focus on projects and activities for all ages that can be done at home.

“The cancellation of the fair was a blow for our whole community, and we appreciate the importance of the competitive exhibits program to foster creativity, togetherness, family participation, and joy,” said Gabriella C. Calicchio, Director of Cultural Services in a statement earlier this month. “We are launching a virtual and modified competitive exhibits program to engage fair fans, keep our community creatively active, and provide some levity during our shelter-in-place order.”

The virtual contests are announced each week on the Marin County Fair Facebook and Instagram accounts. Previous weeks contests have included face mask decorating, cake and cookie decorating and poetry.

This week, May 25–31, is Family Fun Week for the virtual fair, and the contests include a family dance competition and funny family photos challenge. Submissions on social media will be judged on creativity, though make sure you comply with the sheltering orders in your performances.

Next week, June 1–7, break out the extra toilet paper rolls you hoarded for the fair’s TP art and architecture contests. Other virtual competitions include a trash-to-treasure art exhibit and a pet costume contest. The weekly offerings run through July 5, the date that the Marin County Fair would have ended this summer.

In addition to these contests, the fair’s Facebook page is posting a regular array of videos to keep the fair spirits up through this time, and linking to other entertainers like the Stilt Circus and the Great American Petting Zoo.

The fair is also linking its virtual visitors to other online events like the upcoming “Out at the Fair” live-streaming showase of LGBTQ and family friendly entertainment on Saturday, June 6, at 1pm. Performers scheduled to appear in the online “Out at the Fair” include Debbie Gibson, the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus, Murray the Magician and many others, with a Glam show and an ‘after dark’ virtual dance party.

Visit the Marin County Fair Facebook page for complete details.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.


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