Starting in San Francisco in 1854, the California State Fair and Exposition began as a vehicle to showcase, encourage, and expand California's agricultural industry. It quickly became an attraction for thousands of residents, both local and from across the state. By 1884, it occupied the largest exhibit hall in the United States. Within 100 years, it became the largest fair in the country by adding horse racing, elaborate exhibits from every county in the state and from around the world, thrill rides, top-flight entertainment, and, of course, the best food. The original goal of the fair was met some 50 years ago, as California remains the nation's top producer of agricultural products.
Author Bio: Using historic collections from the Sacramento Room in the Sacramento Public Library, the California State Archives, the California Section of the California State Library, and, most notably, the Center for Sacramento History, historian and archivist Carson Hendricks has gathered vintage photographs, texts, and ephemera to illustrate the history of the California State Fair and Exposition. Meet you at the Golden Bears!
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