Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Newsletter
June 2017
Happy Summer from the Fairgrounds!
Enjoy the tunes of Greg Kihn on opening night of the Fair - Thursday, Aug. 3.  
Even better, new this year Thursday is Dollar Day - get in for just $1 all day!

The weather - and plans for the Santa Clara County Fair - are really heating up here at the Fairgrounds!  We are excited to announce the following entertainment lineup on the main stage at this year's Fair:

Thursday, Aug 3 - Greg Kihn
Friday, Aug. 4 - Love and Theft
Saturday, Aug. 5 - The Houserockers and Cisco Kid (Tribute to WAR)
Sunday, Aug. 6 - Industria Del Amor with Metalachi

So mark your calendars and come have a blast with us at this year's Santa Clara County Fair!  We're throwing an awesome party this year - all we need is YOU!
UB40 feat. Ali, Astro, & Mickey to Perform at Island Reggae Festival on Saturday, July 8th at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds

July 8th is going to be an amazing day at the Island Reggae Festival here at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, with UB40 feat. Ali, Astro & Mickey!   Get your tickets online at

Perform at the County Fair!
August 3 - 6

There is an amazing amount of wonderful, homegrown talent right here in Santa Clara County, and we want to fill our Community Stage with it at this year's Santa Clara County Fair!   Whether it's dancing, singing, playing instruments, or martial arts demonstrations - we want it all!   Visit our website to download more information and application form.
Applications are due by June 16th so there is no time to dilly dally!

ReLeaf for the Fairgrounds!

Things are looking a bit greener at the Fairgrounds, thanks to generous donors to our ongoing "Big ReLeaf" campaign!  

The most significant ReLeaf donation is a new 90,000 sq ft concert lawn recently installed as a gift to the Fairgrounds from Island Reggae Festival organizers.  This beautiful lawn will be enjoyed at many events, so it is a tremendous gift to our whole community! 

With other funds raised from this campaign we have also started to bring flowers back to the  Fairgrounds. But we could use a lot more help, so here are some ways you can get involved:
  • Make a donation to help us purchase more plants and garden supplies
  • Love to garden?  We are organizing a new Fairgrounds Garden Club with volunteers who can lend us expertise and some time digging in the dirt   
  • Have a thriving garden and need to thin some hardy plants that could use a new home?  We would love to have them!
  • Know a prospective Eagle Scout that needs a project?   How about giving a complete overhaul to a flower bed here at the Fairgrounds?  
For more information or to sign up to help please email Valerie Merklin, Development Manager, at or call 408-477-7125.

90,000 sq ft of sod and a new sprinkler system to maintain it were generously donated to the Fairgrounds by the Island Reggae Festival to create a wonderful new concert lawn for all to enjoy!

When you come to the Island Reggae Festival you'll want to kick off those flip flops and enjoy this beautiful new concert lawn!
May Staff Highlight - Adrienne South

In the midst of the controlled chaos that only event planners understand it is a sweet thing to have someone around who has it all under control and keeps smiling, like our Associate Director of Food and Beverage Services, Adrienne South!  Adrienne joined the Fairgrounds staff 2 years ago, after having planned weddings and events for over 15 years.
A San Jose native who lives 2 miles from her childhood home, Adrienne has a passion for her home town and a deep commitment to continually improving the Fairgrounds for our community to enjoy.  One of her favorite things about her job is the opportunity to tap into her creative talents, customizing concession offerings to fit each type of event.  So, if you have been pleasantly surprised to enjoy a delicious Mandarin Chicken Salad or a Grilled Veggie Sandwich at the Fairgrounds, you have Adrienne to thank for thinking outside the snack bar box!
Adrienne's passion for helping others extends far beyond the Fairgrounds.  She is active in the Junior League of San Jose and also an outspoken advocate for breast and ovarian cancer awareness, particularly for women who may be at high risk due to BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Adrienne is our staff member celebrity, having shared her own BRCA journey just a few months ago on the television show The Doctors
When she's not hard at work at the Fairgrounds, you'll usually find Adrienne hard at work operating her mobile candy shop, Sugar Tree Sweets & Treats, or planning an event or wedding here and there.  She enjoys the fun loving chaos at home with her husband, 5 kids, 3 dogs, and 2 cats.
May Volunteer Highlight  -  Mike and Kathleen Stang 

When the Fairgrounds' cool old "hexagon" building comes alive with the buzz of bees and sweet smell of honey during the Fair, it will be because of lots of hard work by Mike and Kathleen Stang of Stang Apiaries. Mike and Kathleen, working together with the Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild and other volunteers, pull together an incredible educational exhibit to help all of us learn more about how important bees are to our food system and our health.  

But lucky for us, that's not all!  Mike a nd Kathleen are also devoted advocates for the Fairgrounds, and they have been working hard to help us spread the word about the need for more sponsorship and community support as we work to rebuild the Santa Clara County Fair. 

Thank you so much, Mike and Kathleen, for all your hard work and fo r bee-ing so dedicated 
to the Santa Clara County  Fair!  
Fairgrounds Staff & Volunteers Out and About

It's amazing how many people in our community don't know much about what's happening at the Fairgrounds, so we've been taking the Fairgrounds show on the road! Over the past few weeks we've enjoyed having a booth at Martial Cottle Park's Spring Festival, the Boogie Music Festival in Campbell, and Mushroom Mardi Gras in Morgan Hill.  

If you have an event coming up where we could have a booth or if you would like a speaker for an upcoming service club meeting please call Frances Negranza, Outreach & Education Manager, at 408-494-3103.

A big thank you to Supervisor Mike Wasserman and Park Manager Eric Goodrich for stopping by to visit our Fairgrounds booth at the   Martial Cottle Park Spring Festival!  Thanks also to awesome volunteers David Peck (2nd from left) and Hans Toensfeldt (right) from the Fairgrounds Heritage Foundation for helping staff the booth!
That's a FAIR Questionpeople_cheering_festival.jpg

The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corporation ("FMC") is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that manages the Fairgrounds.  This feature in our monthly newsletter addresses frequently asked questions that we hear when we're out and about in the community.  

Q: Why isn't the Fair 2 weeks long like it was back in the day? 
A:  We hear this a lot, and we definitely share the desire to have a thriving 2-week Fair once again here in Santa Clara County!  Many factors led to the demise of the Santa Clara County Fair, once the second largest Fair in the state.  In the past 20 years or so there have been failed redevelopment attempts that resulted in the demolition of many structures that allowed us to have a bigger Fair.  Even more importantly, significant funding for the Fair used to come from both the state and county sources, neither of which has provided funding for the Fair in the last several years.  But here at the Fairgrounds we are eternal optimists, and slowly but surely we are making great strides to rebuilding the Santa Clara County Fair!  But we won't be able to do it with out a lot more community support and sponsorship to bring back the grand Fair of yesteryear once again.  If you would like to learn how you could help please give us a call at 408-477-7125. 

Q: How can I enter something I made at the Fair? 
A:  There are so many creative people here in Santa Clara County, and we would love for you to share your creativity at the Fair!  Remember seeing homemade jam and pickles at the Fair?  Remember seeing beautiful paintings at the Fair?  We still do that!!   Deadlines to enter will be coming up soon - visit the fair website for details (click on Adult Home Arts link for more info and forms)

Have a question you'd like us to address in a future column?  Just email it to us at
The Race is On to the Santa Clara County Fair!
Mark Your Calendar - August 3-6

Don't miss the duck and pig races that will be back again this year!  Better yet, SPONSOR them!  Call 408-477-7125 to learn how you can sponsor this fun event at the Fair!

Questions?  Just give us a call at 408-494-3100.

Upcoming Events at the
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds

June 10
Dance and play among the bubbles across 3 miles of fun!  

June 25
Enjoy the rich tradition of this cultural dance event that goes back hundreds of years!

July 1
Learn about animals, the environment, and the benefits of a vegan lifestyle at Wilde Dreams first Summer Veg Fest!
For a complete schedule of upcoming events 
Let Us Host Your Next Event!
Do you have a special event coming up?   Just g ive us a call at 408-494-3100 and find out more about our fun, affordable and flexible venue - and then let your imagination run wild! 

Private Events
Festivals & Trade Shows
This newsletter is brought to you by the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corporation ("FMC"), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization formed by the County in 1995 to manage the Fairgrounds.  

FMC's Board of Directors meets at 2 pm on the last Wednesday of each month here at the Fairgrounds.  Board meetings are open to the public and all are welcome.  Details and agendas are posted on the County's website on the boards and commissions page. 

As you may have heard, Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors is in the process of reviewing responses to an RFP for redevelopment of the Fairgrounds.   To stay up-to-date on what's happening with this process visit the County's website at   

AUG 3-6
Stay Connected!