Picnics, fireworks, County Fair make for stay-at-home fun next weekThe American Automobile Association is predicting crowded roadways over the July 4th holiday with many taking vacation days Thursday and Friday for a five-day-long weekend. Fortunately for those in the Tri-Valley, there's enough fun and excitement here at home to make for a safe and less costly holiday. In Pleasanton, families can enjoy some old-fashioned Independence Day fun at the 14th annual community picnic in Lions Wayside Park, at First and Neal streets. Called "Celebrating Freedom and its Evolution since the Revolution," the event starts at noon Wednesday and includes patriotic music by the Pleasanton Community Concert Band, a hot dog and drink for a dollar and even free American flags.
In Livermore, that city's Fireworks Community Committee, working with the city of Livermore and the Livermore Area Recreation and Park district, is sponsoring an afternoon of fun and entertainment followed by a fireworks display on the Las Positas college campus. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with family games, food trucks and live music. Entrance fee is $20 per carload in advance or $25 at the gate. Walk-in entry is $5 per person. Pets and outside alcohol are not allowed but beer and wine will be for sale.
The Alameda County Fair continues today through Sunday, July 8, with Pleasanton Day today, fireworks tonight and again next Friday night, and special activities for veterans and all age groups through the coming week. The Fair is closed Monday but reopens Tuesday with $2 admission for all that day and then free admission for those 62 and over next Thursday. Admission for kids 12 and under is free today and next Friday. Except for Monday, horse racing continues on the Fairgrounds' oldest one-mile track in America.
While at the Fair, be sure to visit the Alameda County Historical Monument that was dedicated last Saturday. The monument was created to celebrate the 100th year since the first "modern Fair" was held in Pleasanton in 1912. Fifteen businessmen and ranchers met and formed the Alameda County Fair Association, and the Fair Association continues today as one of the country's top regional fairs under the direction of Chief Executive Officer Rick Pickering, who is nationally recognized for his County Fair achievements and is a past president of the Western Fairs Association.
The five-sided monument was designed to represent the five distinct eras of Alameda County, starting when the county was founded in 1855 with six districts: Washington, Murray, Eden, Clinton, Oakland and Alameda. A year later the county was redefined into five districts and from October 1873 through December 1884, with Oakland achieving sufficient size to warrant three districts of its own, the county's numbering system was established. Pleasanton is now in the Fourth District, represented by Supervisor Nate Miley.
As you walk toward the monument, note the bricks and granite benches, engraved with the names of individuals, families and businesses which contributed to create this Fairgrounds edifice that commemorates the vibrant history of Alameda County and the County Fair.