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Mapping out your visit: How to navigate the Santa Cruz County Fair

Presented by Santa Cruz County Fair
a stand selling corn dogs at the county fair
Get caught up on all the wonderful amenities the Santa Cruz County Fair has to offer to ensure a smooth and fun-filled day that’s sure to please the entire family.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
county fair lamb show
(Santa Cruz County Fair)

Looking to plan your visit to this year’s Santa Cruz County Fair? Get caught up on all the wonderful amenities we have to offer to ensure a smooth and fun-filled day that’s sure to please the entire family.

Did somebody say, “Valet?” We sure did: if you want to be a VIP at The Fair, start with valet parking. Enter the fairgrounds off East Lake Avenue/Highway 152 and follow the signage to the Main Gate. That’s where you can simply hand over your car to a professional and walk right in. It’s an amenity you won’t find at most county fairs, for just $30.

  • Event
    Santa Cruz County Fair 2022
    Enjoy fun for the whole family at the Santa Cruz County Fair, from September 14 - 18, off Highway 152 in Watsonville, CA. Tickets are available for purchase now.
    Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 12:00 PM

county fair map
(Santa Cruz County Fair)

Head east at the Main Gate and start your adventure where it all began, at Yesterday’s Farm. Visiting Yesterday’s Farm is like going back in time. There, you’ll find antique farming equipment and Clydesdale horses demonstrating farming techniques from the good ‘ole days. Also, knowledgeable spinsters will show you how to create yarn from wool- no machines required.

Get back on Apple Blossom Lane and continue east into the heart of The Fair. Concessions and entertainment will delight you along the way. Make sure to stop at the Bug Barn and try to “Find the Queen.” If your legs are getting tired, you’re in the right place to rest—and ride a camel. You can also take a load off at the All Alaskan Racing Pigs. It’s a fast and funny show!

The lane ends at the livestock area. Students there will happily teach you all about their pigs, cows, lambs, and goats. Double back and travel west along the lane. Look to the north. Depending on the day and time, you can slip into the bleachers and watch some Horse Show events. It’s exciting to see the horses sail over jumps with young riders in the saddle.

Staying to the north of Apple Blossom Lane, stop at the Playhouse Stage to see Captain Jack Spareribs. You’ll also spot the Amphitheater Stage where the evening concerts take place. Then, when you’re almost back at the entrance, you’ll be drawn to the Tankhouse Stage. Twinkle Time or Michael Mezmer will be attracting big crowds. Try to get a front row seat!
Veer right onto Fiesta Lane and take a tour of the historic Rodgers House. Continue north. On the left, floriculture is full of colorful flowers and the Harvest building houses the best of agriculture. Fine Arts is on your right. The JJ Crosetti Building is straight ahead. There, you’ll find LEGOs and Collections. The adjacent Paddy Smith Park is where the Diaper Derby takes place on Saturday.

A few more steps, and you’re at the Ballpark. Home to Clown College, Circus Imagination, Circus Moralitos and Pacific Animal Productions. At this point, you’re close enough to The Carnival to hear the screams! There’s no better way to wrap up an awesome and educational trip to The Fair, than with thrilling rides. And if you have little ones in tow, the Kiddie Carnival is a great option.

Now that you’ve seen it all… time to take another lap!