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Last cattle drive through downtown marks start of fair

Morning parade draws thousands as the county fair officially opens for the summer

The sound of hooves on pavement could be heard rattling through Pleasanton Friday morning, from a herd of cattle taking one “Last Drive” through downtown.

Thousands of residents crowded into the downtown area to watch the popular Pleasanton cattle drive, which for the past two years has marked the start of the Alameda County Fair -- which is now open.

The hoofed procession consisted of dozens of cattle, led by cowpoke and dog herders, who started their journey on Rose Avenue Gate, made their way through central downtown and then returned back to the fairgrounds as the first guests began to enter the fair’s gates.

A couple of close calls occurred from cattle attempting to break free and explore downtown’s offerings, but teams of dogs and cowboys on horseback were able to corral them back into the herd with no damage done.

Fair officials announced that this will be the third and final cattle drive through downtown Pleasanton, which also marks the start of the fair’s Western Weekend.

The fair opened Friday morning and runs through July 7, but will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day at the fairgrounds at the corner of Valley and Bernal avenues.

For ticket prices and other fair information, check the Weekly’s earlier coverage of visit the official website here.

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Comments

5 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 14, 2019 at 11:24 pm

That was fun! Thanks to those who took the time to put it on. It's neat to live next to a spot that occasionally draws a crowd. I know there are drawbacks for us residents. But to complain would be ignoring the gold in the ore. I've lived around the country. This is a great town. Fun stuff.


2 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2019 at 11:05 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

PW, your article doesn’t say why it’s the last one. Why is it the last cattle drive?


2 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Walsh, editor
associate editor
on Jun 16, 2019 at 8:21 pm

Jeremy Walsh, editor is a registered user.

Thanks, Get the Facts. Fair officials announced the decision a month or so ago, saying essentially they appreciated the cattle drive but decided it was time to find a new Opening Day feature. Here was their quote from our previous story: "It has been a wonderful opening celebration, but the Alameda County Fair is always changing and evolving. We want to be able to create new, fun experiences that will keep all our fair-goers excited about attending year after year."


5 people like this
Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 27, 2019 at 2:52 pm

Disappointed is a registered user.

I have it on very good authority that the reason this was the last cattle drive is because the owners of the stores downtown complained about the noise, the dirt, the crowds, the cars, the animal excrement on the street (which was always cleaned up by fair employees). The fair officials of course did not want to say this, so they gracefully exited and now this great tradition, one of the things that made Pleasanton unique is gone for good. I hope they move it to Livermore where people will appreciate it. I actually heard one store owner say, "this is not a country town, we don't need it here". So sad. People are so snobbish and selfish these days.


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