Aug 14, 2005

The CA State Fair

So I spent all day Saturday in our wonderful state's capital, Sacramento. We spent some time at the state capitol building, taking this semi-fascinating tour with this semi-annoying tour guide who enjoyed rambling very much about his personal life, political beliefs, things his grandmother used to say, lame jokes, etc. So to keep myself from strangling the poor guy, I busied myself with taking pictures, instead. Here's my little Show-And-Tell from this weekend.

Here's a picture from inside of the rotunda. It's pretty ornate, as most capital buildings seem to be. Something about real gold paint. There were also some other interesting facts about those windows, but I was already getting annoyed with the tour guide, so I stopped paying attention.

At some point in the tour, we ended up in this room which housed giant portraits of former California governors. Most of the previous governors opted for the typical photo-like portraits, but current Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown opted for something different. Most of the people on the tour didn't really like this portrait because it was "different," but according to the tour guide, the painting looks "unfinished" because Jerry Brown was unable to finish - or realize - his "vision for Caliornia." I got it. And quite frankly, I fell in love with the whole modernity of this piece.

After our visit to the Capitol building, we drove over to the State Fair. You know, basically, I'll drive anywhere for a fried Snickers bar.

Just kidding.

The only other time I'd been to a State Fair was back in New York in 2002. And I had such an awesome time [you guys know who you are!] That time, I had about eight beers in me. And basically, after eight beers, you can have fun doing just about anything.

One real cool thing they had - and quite possibly the only cool thing they had at the State Fair this year - was this giant sand sculpture. I guess you could say the whole theme of this piece was a hodgepodge of California shit.

Here's a closeup of a humpback whale made of sand.

This large sand sculpture was at the entrance to this exposition building in which the different counties represented themselves - and what makes them special - via special displays. Some counties really went to town, using music, mechanical animals/people/bees, mirrors, 3-D displays, whatever. Imagine mini diaoramas, but California County style. Some were pretty awe inspiring. I wish I had taken a few pictures of them, but really, why take pictures of any other county, when your very own county comes up with this gem of a presentation:

I am SO glad that visitors from other California counties will finally see that here in San Mateo County, we all live in Pastel Land, complete with white picket fences, Easter-egg-colored mailboxes, and floating DNA strains in the air. Lovely. They really did me proud.

Then we went on to see some of the performances, like this Vietnamese group doing some sort of cultural dance (which really didn't look very "cultural") and a fashion show. We also stopped by to see the Kenya Boyz African Acrobats, who really weren't acrobatic at all. But maybe I missed that part.

What I did notice though, was a bunch of women wearing some very interesting hats. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. They were more entertaining than the people on stage.

And that's pretty much it. I think I'm done with the State Fair, unless I go back with pro-beer-drinking people. And this week, the fair promises some great concerts:
  • Boyz II Men, Aug. 16
  • Hoobastank, Aug. 17
  • Carrot Top, Aug. 18
  • Ryan Cabrera, Sept. 5
I just KNOW you're all dying to go. Especially to the Carrot Top show.


Tom Harper said...

God, what is it with sand sculptures all of a sudden? Our town in Washington just got through with a 2-week display of sand sculptures. It was very good artwork, but I'd never heard of this before (other than kids at the beach doing little statues, etc.).

And now Sacramento has the same thing. Maybe it's a new trend that I didn't know about.

Comandante AgĂ­ said...

I don't mean to knock your fair but the OC fair had some better acts than Carrot Top, Hoobastank and Huey Lewis. I actually saw Beck perform here a few weeks ago.

Great pictures by the way. Cool portrait of Jerry Brown.